Herm Edwards, Antonio Pierce and some random discuss Kuechly and then our defense as a whole. So pretty good recognition (some may say they're a little too complimentary of Harper, but I think most of their points are solid - that he's a calming veteran presence.)
Didn't see this posted, and it's more or less what people would expect but here it is anyway.
Carolina Panthers – Performances of Note
Thomas Davis, LB: +4.0
Breakdown: Most of his work came unblocked and he didn’t necessarily come up with the highlight-reel plays that his teammate did. This was still a great performance from Davis who collected seven tackles and five stops. He was particularly good limiting yards after the catch in the passing game, consistently closing and finishing on passes into the flat. Davis allowed the Cardinals to gain less than 20 yards on seven passes into his coverage.
Signature Play: 3Q, 4:04. Impressive start to the drive, getting into the backfield to drop the rusher for a loss, making a quick read at the snap to avoid any potential blockers.
Luke Kuechly, LB: +2.5
Breakdown: Outside of allowing a pair of first downs in coverage, it was a typically active game for Kuechly. In this contest he made three defensive stops and had a direct hand in both of Lindley’s interceptions, though he only hauled in one of them. At 11:53 of the fourth, he read the play action and anticipated the pass to Larry Fitzgerald, making a nice break to grab the interception and prevent Arizona from pulling within a touchdown.
Signature Play: 4Q, 2:03. Maybe the more impressive of Kuechly’s big plays, he again read Lindley locking onto Fitzgerald, coming from the deep middle to defend the post and get a hand on the ball, tipping it to teammate Tre Boston in the end zone.
Jonathan Stewart, RB: +0.8
Breakdown: One of the more elusive rushers during the regular season, Stewart continued that trend with a ridiculous nine forced missed tackles on the day. Stewart gained 123 yards on predominately option runs while giving up just one pressure in 16 snaps in pass protection.
Signature Play: 1Q, 5:29. Scoring the first touchdown of the game, Stewart made an impressive cut to get past Sam Acho past the line of scrimmage before bursting through Rashad Johnson to reach the end zone.
PFF Game Ball
A few players to choose from, but it’s hard not to give this to Luke Kuechly for his role in both interceptions.
Something that just occurred to me and I thought was an interesting factoid, the Panthers and all of the big offseason losses that are still playing (so, no including Gross of course) are in the playoffs. I used the word big so I could exclude Captain, but he would be borderline considerable as a significant loss anyway.
Ginn in Arizona
Mitchell in Pittsburgh
Donald in NE
Smitty in Baltimore
All of our significant FA (and cuts, considering Smitty) losses are in the playoffs. Says at least a little something about what we were building on last year.