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Panthers Roll Over Chiefs 34-0

Julius Peppers said it… “This is a good defense.” He is absolutely right. Most of the offseason talk of the Carolina Panthers was about their revamped offensive line, and the return of Jake Delhomme. The defense seemed a little suspect with the loss of Kris Jenkins, and Peppers’ not playing up to par; now, that is all but forgotten. The Panthers rolled over the Kansas City Chiefs, 34-0, on a hot, autumn afternoon in Charlotte, at a raucous Bank of America Stadium. The Panthers pitched their first shutout since 2006, and the Chiefs caught their first since 2002.

For the fifth game in a row, Carolina kept one of the NFL’s leading running backs to under a hundred yards; previous victims were LaDainian Tomlinson, Matt Forte, Adrian Peterson, and Michael Turner. Kansas City’s Larry Johnson was next in line, being held, incredibly, to only 2 yards on 7 carries. He gained nearly 200 yards last week in an upset of the Broncos, helping to snap their 12 game losing streak.

This also marks the second straight contest that Carolina has not allowed their opponent to cross the goal line. In fact, the Panther defense allowed only one first down, and twenty-eight yards, in the first half. Middle linebacker Jon Beason had an interception, along with corner Ken Lucas, and new addition Darwin Walker beautifully deflected one of Huard’s passes.

The woeful Chiefs turned to Damon Huard and the passing game; but to no avail. He threw for only 86 yards, going 10 for 21, with two interceptions and a fumble; Kansas City turned to Coastal Carolina’s Tyler Thigpen early in the fourth quarter, but he couldn’t provide a spark, either.

The only good that came out of the game for Kansas City was future Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez breaking Shannon Sharpe’s record for career receiving yards for a tight end. Such a shame that it couldn’t have happened last week at Arrowhead, in front of deserving Chiefs fans; moreover, Gonzalez was inexplicably robbed of his ceremonious moment.

It has been quite a while since the Panthers have played such a complete game. The offense and the defense fed off each other all day, and special teams stepped up, as well. Kickoffs have become exciting to watch, thanks to Carolina’s specialist, Rhys Lloyd. He leads the league in touchbacks, and is a definite weapon in an area that Carolina was previously weak in.

The Carolina Panthers were thin on the offensive line, with stalwart Jordan Gross and rookie standout Jeff Otah sidelined with injuries. Furthermore, the Panther o-line took another hit, with center Ryan Kalil leaving the game. However, backups Jeremy Bridges, Frank Omiyale, and Geoff Hangartner filled in almost seamlessly, and the Chiefs were not able to capitalize.

Panther running back DeAngelo Williams earned his first touchdown of the season, and then added two more. He had a career-day with 123 yards on the ground, and his lone 25-yard reception equalled a TD. One of the real highlights of Carolina’s offensive play was the blocking done by the receivers; they put forth an outstanding effort all afternoon, especially Muhsin Muhammed, who had a torching touchdown of his own. Speaking of blocking, Williams stood up a Kansas City defender who was attempting to lunge over him at Delhomme; and fullback Brad Hoover is truly one of the unsung heroes of the team, relentlessly paving the way.

While star Steve Smith registered no touchdowns, his presence was felt throughout the contest, with 6 receptions and 96 yards. Receiver D.J. Hackett left the game with an apparent knee injury, and punt returner Mark Jones stepped in with his first NFL catch, for a much needed first down, no less. Rookie back Jonathan Stewart rushed for 72 yards on 20 carries, forming a formidable tandem with Williams. The Panthers closed the day with 441 yards, and the Chiefs managing only 127.

Fortunately for Kansas City they will now head into their bye week, and hopefully can regroup. Carolina next faces division rival Tampa Bay, in a battle to sit on top of the NFC South.

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One Response to “Panthers Roll Over Chiefs 34-0”

  1. gastr1 says:

    It is amazing that the Chiefs are so bad, considering the loyalty of their fan base and their history of competitive (if not championship) teams. They are only getting worse, and will probably clean the whole house at the end of the year.

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