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Rivera- “We Struggled” 1-1

(AP Photo/Mike McCarn)

(AP Photo/Mike McCarn)

Thoughts on the game:

The Panthers Thursday night against the Eagles looked out-of-place and they struggled, having a series of up’s and downs, especially for a team that has their sights on making the play-offs. Fortunately there is still time, with this just being the preseason.

It takes leadership in the NFL to have success.
Ron Rivera said the NFL, is a “production based business”. Thursday was a lack thereof, on both sides of the ball. Rivera acknowledged that the game was a “distraction” with the move from Wofford to Charlotte to Philly.
Preseason is an education process.
Rivera “was listening to his coaches” who were blaming the lack of production on route running and missing gaps. The QB “missing a read; “a Linebacker out of his crease.” “Those types of things, you have to correct.” “We will correct them.”

Defense: McDermott- I can’t blame McDermott just yet, the players said that he put an emphasis on stopping the third and manageable situations, via Mike Mitchell, safety. 1st Team Defense allowed 237yds. The Eagles were able to consistently convert on third downs. The Eagles were 7-13-54%.
Rivera was “disappointed” in the way his team played third downs.” The young guys didn’t respond the way that we wanted them to.”
Mike Mitchell, Panther’s safety said, “We don’t want to be a bend don’t break defense, but tonight that’s what we were.” Mitchell credits Josh Norman and Josh Thomas for their ability to go after the ball, helping the defense, with their interceptions. “We want to try and do those things” early on in the game, like we did against Chicago.”
Defense created turnovers:
2 Sacks
Norman again had an INT
Josh Thomas had an INT
Fumble recovery by Big Money

Offense: Shula
Byron Bell said that “we were trying to balance it out” and get the run game going, which he said they began to do towards the end. “We were moving them off of the ball pretty well.” “We just have to finish drives. I think that’s the key thing.” “Once we get in the red zone we have to score.” Field Goals cannot be settled for – Must score touchdowns!

The team has not held up their end of the deal by playing with a sense of ‘urgency’ and having the ability to execute and get off to a quick start as of yet.

DeAngelo Williams expresses the same sentiment. “We definitely have to get better on third downs. I know that we were two for seven.” “We have to keep the chains moving.”
Williams only averaged 3.3 yrds per carry. Williams was decent, his numbers doesn’t reflect his performance. The offense was stymied several times to which Williams had a few negative carries. However, the other RB’s didn’t impress. Barner was silent. Poole had an o.k. night.

Offense – Lack of Production
The lack of production was concerning. However, when looking at the stats, the Panthers weren’t too far off the mark averaging 4.8 yds per play. The Panthers ran a total of 25 rushing plays, compared to the Eagles who ran 32. The Panthers had 33 passing plays, seems balanced, right? Not when you’re going up against an offense that is a fast-tempo offense like the Eagles—a No Huddle Shotgun formation. The Eagles ran 69 offensive plays, compared to the Panthers 58.
Gettis MVP: Gettis is working hard to show that he is ready. He loves playing the game and loves playing for the Panthers organization. Gettis had a tremendous catch this game, even though the ball was thrown behind him. Gettis had five receptions for 82 yds.
Ted Gin also came thru…as did Smitty the speedster, playmaking WR. Although Smitty was targeted 7 times he only had 3 receptions due to some of Cam’s arid throws.

Cam – seemed In-Cam-sistent. Cam was 8/17 for 112 yds.
Rivera thought otherwise, calling the first team consistent, saying they moved the ball “pretty well.”
I would have liked to seen a TD and a more efficient offensive drive, but hey, that’s just me.
Cam said, “ ..a couple of throws got away from me; sailed on me a bit…” “We put our defense in a bad situation.” “We stalled out…we gotta learn from it.” “At the end of the day, it comes down to us executing.”

1st down Ratio of the two teams: Panthers had a total of 15 compared to the Eagles who had 25.
3rd down Conversions: Panthers 4-14-29%
Eagles 7-13-54%

I cannot give up just yet –Hope that the Panthers can make corrections before the first game against the Seahawks.

Written by: Phillip Boyce
Twitter: phillipjboyce

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2 Responses to “Rivera- “We Struggled” 1-1”

  1. Jerome Johnson says:

    When you have your receiving corp go from one of the real weaknesses of the Panthers, to one of the strengths, that’s a good GM. He’ll do the same for the O’line. Doing it with the DB’s, did it to the D’line. Take another year to solidify the team.

    Cam still looks like a little boy having fun. It was cool for a while, now it’s starting to rub me. Let’s see you put together some strong games, where you let others take the spotlight, and the ball.

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