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Game Grades - Panthers at Cardinals


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Ron Rivera is 1-3 for the third year in his three year head coaching career. I'm starting to see a pattern developing.

 

On with the grades.

 

Offense

 

Initially, they looked like they may roll right over the Cardinals. Cam Newton was throwing crisp passes, Brandon Lafell and Greg Olsen looked to have career days, and all was well. Then, the drops started happening. Steve Smith suddenly developed a case of stone hands. Apparently it was contagious because Brandon Lafell was soon feeling the effects. If not for the dropped passes, the Panthers could have been up by a wide margin.

 

In the second half, the Cardinals brought pressure on Cam Newton and the offense folded. Mike Shula was unable to counter the Cardinals half time adjustments. We watched as the league's longest developing passing plays were anchored by a suspect offensive line. Not an ideal situation to say the least.

 

The result? 358 yards and only 6 points.

 

Strike up the offensive woes to poor player execution and terrible coaching. It takes both to look so very bad.

 

Offensive Grade: F

 

Defense

 

Before slop time in the 4th quarter, the Panthers defense had held the Cardinals offense to 13 points. To hold the home team to 13 points should win you the game. Luke Kuechly continues to look like a pro bowl player as he leads this defense. Robert Lester appears to be a legitimate safety in this league, making him the biggest offseason bargain for the Panthers. 

 

While they could have done more, they did enough for a competent NFL offense to win the game.

 

Defensive Grade: B

 

Special Teams

 

Are you in the market for a new Panthers Jersey? I suggest Graham Gano. He has been the most reliable point scorer on the team this season. A field goal penalty jeopardized his second field goal attempt. but Gano still nailed it after moving back ten yards. This kid is like ice.

 

Special Teams Grade: B

 

Coaching

 

If you look at this game in a bubble and choose to ignore the past few seasons you could say that player execution lost this game for the Panthers. You would be partially right. If you want a more complete outlook, you put this loss in the context of Rivera's entire career.

 

Under Rivera, the Panthers have consistently been unprepared, undisciplined, and unfocused. After all, that is what player execution is all about. If a player is not focused with clarity on the task at hand, he will not succeed.

 

This falls squarely on the shoulders of Ron Rivera. The Panthers are a reflection of Ron, and it isn't pretty.

 

Coaching Grade: D



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Posted · Report post

The only thing I really disagree with is the coaching grade: an F minus.

 

edit:  That is, if you're including the whole coaching staff as part of the coaching grade.  If it's just Rivera, I'd stick with a D.  Going for it on 4th and 1 early bumps him a letter (though the stupid playcall ruined his first good decision of his career).

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Zod... Man... What are we gonna do? I don't know any more... I just want a win... I don't care anymore about anything else... I just want a win, followed by another one. WHY THE FUCK CAN'T WE WIN ZOD?!?!?! 

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Posted · Report post

Nice assessment, unfortunate but nice...

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Posted · Report post

The only thing I really disagree with is the coaching grade: an F minus.

 

Well, the defensive coaching staff did a good job. Unfortunately they could only pull the grade up so much.

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Zod... Man... What are we gonna do? I don't know any more... I just want a win... I don't care anymore about anything else... I just want a win, followed by another one. WHY THE fug CAN'T WE WIN ZOD?!?!?! 

 

Well first we can start by firing Ronald Mcdonald.

 

I really have no clue how I'm going to continue watching this team lose for 3 more months. This is the first time I've said that during football season. 3 months until we can finally move forward... again.

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Well, the defensive coaching staff did a good job. Unfortunately they could only pull the grade up so much.

 

Eh, I don't even think the defensive coaching staff did a particularly good job.  I would attribute more of the defensive success today on player talent.  The scheming didn't seem to be helping.  We got decent pressure, but few sacks.  Then in the second half, the quick dump off passing game started killing us (as it always does).

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I wish our Offense would get it together. As  I sat at the bar drowning my tears with beer, it dawned on me. What has really changed about this team when we were 2-14. Especially offense. Cam, Olsen and tolbert. This is the same group. its just frustrating because I am tired of excuses. I just want to win.

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The first two years we had offenese. We put up points and couldn't stop anyone. . Now the defense is playing lights out and the offense can't do anything right or consistently. . Chud seems to be the key to all this.. shula was the worst promotion I ever seen..

Sent from my SPH-L710 using CarolinaHuddle mobile app

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Posted · Report post

The only thing I disagree with is the coaching score.  It was a clear "F" as well.

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Posted · Report post

The defense grade should be divided up. Everyone not name Luke and Lester played like trash. Wrs were wide open and they got no pressure on Carson Palmer. If Carson wasn't such trash this defense would have been embarrassed.

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Posted · Report post

nailed it.

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