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Carolina Beats Indy in OT Win 23-20

John Kasay (4) kicks the winning field goal in overtime

The Carolina Panthers beat the Indianapolis Colts, 23-20, in an overtime win at Bank of America Stadium, in Charlotte.

It proved quite an auspicious start for the Panthers, as they scored twice within the first four minutes of the game on turnovers … and it’s official, Julius Peppers is back, and with a vengeance. He looked tremendous in his new position on the right side, relentlessly attacking Jim Sorgi’s blindside. On the Colts’ first drive, Peppers got around left tackle Tony Ugoh and leveled Sorgi, while Charles Johnson recovered the ensuing fumble. Running back DeAngelo Williams ran for nineteen yards on four carries, and scored the first touchdown off of the turnover.

The Colts fared no better in the second series, as Peppers again made his presence his known, along with Maake Kemoeatu, and greatly hurried Sorgi’s throw. The pass was deflected by Gary Gibson, and middle linebacker Adam Seward in turn snatched the ball from Joseph Addai. Seward was able to run it to the Colts’ ten, and DeAngelo Williams easily ran the ball in for another score.

Carolina’s newly built offensive line looked solid and cohesive, and opened some mighty big holes for Williams and company. LaBrandon Toefield, Decori Birmingham, and the ever-dependable Nick Goings also had some fine runs throughout the contest. First round draft pick Jonathan Stewart was held out of the game, to continue to rest his toe for the season.

Jake Delhomme only threw one pass, to Muhsin Muhammed, which fell incomplete in the back of the endzone, due to some great coverage by Indianapolis’ Marlin Jackson. Delhomme looked relaxed and ready under center, and there was also some great play from backups Matt Moore and Brett Basanez. Steve Smith’s only reception came from a Moore pass late in the first quarter, as he went up over the middle, making a beautiful catch. Both Moore and Basanez showed off their legs, and did some nice scrambling throughout the evening.

The Panthers’ rookie safety, Charles Godfrey, shared a sack with Adam Seward, and it was generally a good showing for all rookies involved.

The Colts finally found a rhythm with newly acquired backup quarterback Jared Lorenzen, who himself provided some nice rushes, and also a pair of touchdown passes. The former New York Giant may also have outplayed Jim Sorgi for the backup position. The Colts, incidentally, were without nineteen players, including Peyton Manning. The Panthers also had several players missing, including star middle linebacker Jon Beason, and most of the starting secondary, such as Chris Gamble, Chris Harris, and Ken Lucas. All of the backups filled in admirably, and had a great game.

Kickoff specialist Rhys Lloyd proved his worth repeatedly, opening the game with a touchback, and contributing two more. Carolina only had four last season, with two being Lloyd’s in the last game against Tampa Bay.

The game had a wacky finish, as Carolina and Indy were tied 20-20, with only one second left and old dependable, John Kasay with his leg ready. Astoundingly, longsnapper Jason Kyle botched the snap, and the game went into overtime…Kasay did get to make his kick later, and Carolina won, 23-20.

Carolina put up a good showing on both sides of the ball, and the staff and fans alike are very pleased.


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