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Game Grades - Panthers at Falcons

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#1 Zod



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Posted 01 October 2012 - 06:53 AM

In a vastly improved performance, the Panthers still show no sign of a killer instinct.

On with the grades:


Overall the offense performed well enough to win the game given an adequate defense. Cam Newton returned to his inspiring form and Greg Olsen emerged as a real threat for other defenses to worry about. Even Armanti Edwards looked great in his one reception, bursting for a first down on a screen. The Panthers collectively ran for 199 yards, exposing the Falcons' biggest weakness.

Offensive Grade: B


As improved as the offense was, the defense was even more so. It was refreshing to see pressure being applied to Matt Ryan early and often. Open field tackling is still sub par, players relying on a big bit more than wrapping up. This should be a very fixable issue, but is a lingering hindrance.

Overall, the execution of the defense was adequate. Their weakness is still giving up the big passing play, which won't change until more talent is developed or acquired at the free safety position.

Luke Kuechly, despite recent uninformed fan opinion, is a star in the making. The Panthers coaching staff surely are considering starting him in the middle where he can have the biggest impact. He is currently our best linebacker.

Defensive Grade: B


The biggest problem I have with the coaching is the lack of an overall killer instinct.

On offense, the Panthers went into "run the clock" mode with a slim lead and over three minutes left on the clock. Against an explosive offense in their own house, this is a losing proposition. Can we please rip out the wildcat pages of the playbook and burn them? I don't recall it ever working, and certainly don't recall it working with 9 falcons in the box.

On Defense, the Panthers backed off the pressure being applied and gave Matt Ryan plenty of time to pick apart the Panthers biggest weakness. Again, no killer instinct. Josh Norman not understanding keeping the Falcons in the field of play late is not entirely his fault, that is on the coaching staff.

In short, as soon as the Panthers play "not to lose", longtime fans brace for a letdown. The Panthers need their teeth in a fight, the coaching staff needs to stop pulling them.

The coaching staff appears to be the weakest link in the organization. If I can see it, I am positive Jerry Richardson can see it. Rivera just may not be cut out for a head coaching job in this league. If the Panthers fail to win a few games soon... he may not last the season.

Coaching Grade: C-

#2 Chaos



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Posted 01 October 2012 - 07:02 AM

Good points, and on coaching, I think we'd be remiss to overlook the clock management head-scratcher to end the first half. No killer instinct then either.

#3 Rocky



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Posted 01 October 2012 - 07:05 AM

you nailed it.. i really dont think rivera is that bad, but he really needs to learn clock managment. it was terrible at the end of the 2nd quarter. then we need to run the clock out with a few minutes left and chud calls a wildcat run. woulda been nice to see them be aggressive and go for it on 4th and 1 but i agree with running down the clock, moving back 5 yards and punting. the punt was executed perfectly. im pretty sure i seen gamble going after matt ryan on that hail mary. wtf mcderpmott hes our best db and you chose to send him in on a blitz at that particular moment? i was pissed when rivera brought in mcdermott, and i was right about him, and watching rivera look like a robot is getting old.. show some damn type emotion!

#4 nctarheel0619


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Posted 01 October 2012 - 07:05 AM

What's Naks overall grade?

#5 catfang


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Posted 01 October 2012 - 07:10 AM

Good points on coaching, a fair grade. Bad clock mgmt to close the 2nd quarter. I know we had the ball at the beginning of the third, but as you said, no killer instinct. That was John Fox-like, actually.

Bad play calls on the second to last drive. Wildcat, wtf?

Good decision to punt at the end, great special team play to down it at the one. Game over right? Uhh, man.

#6 usmcpanthers


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Posted 01 October 2012 - 07:15 AM

Naka has a new grade scale Z----------------!



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Posted 01 October 2012 - 08:17 AM

Interesting points, however, I provide a counter-argument. You say we lacked "killer instinct" which I agree with. However, the playing not to lose argument doesn't really support that notion, as you mentioned we "rushed for 199 yards, exposing the Falcons weakness". With all we have tied up in the running game both financially and talent wise, I have no problem trying to run (literally) the clock out.

Now if you wanted to make the argument that we showed a lack of killer instinct on 4 and 1, with Cam Newton (6'6") as our qb, then I would agree.

#8 Zod



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Posted 01 October 2012 - 08:49 AM

With all we have tied up in the running game both financially and talent wise, I have no problem trying to run (literally) the clock out.

I would agree if they were not stacking 9 players in the box. At some point when the defense is daring you to pass by leaving the field wide open, you should take a shot. Or at the very least, don't run the wildcat. :(

#9 Keith Moons Liver

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 08:56 AM

Coaching staff gets an F. Why are they asking things of Nakamura that he is physically not capable of doing? That is what lost us the game. Good coaches don't do that- good coaches know a players strengths and weaknesses and puts them in a position to succeed.

#10 King Taharqa

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 09:04 AM

Defense should be a C at best Zod. Giving up 30 points, 360 yards passing 3 TDs to Matty Ice, 103 yards to Turner (on 13 carries) along with 3 catches for 68 yards. White posts 8 catches for 169 and 2 TDs. And thats a good performance? Defense is so horrible that we see our D line FINALLY step up and get pressure and we think they're "good". In the past we used to hang our hat on D so I understand the need to act like its not as bad as it seems. But the defense still has a lot of work to do.

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