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News » Carolina Panthers Strategy and Personnel 2008-10-28

Carolina Panthers Strategy and Personnel 2008-10-28

Carolina Panthers Strategy and Personnel 2008-10-28

--K John Kasay is in the midst of a Pro Bowl season for Carolina. He's 16-for-16 on field goal attempts.

--DT Darwin Walker has some "soft muscle tissue soreness" resulting from a car accident Saturday morning, according to coach John Fox. Walker did not play against Arizona. A team spokesman originally sent out an email Saturday night saying Walker was involved in a "fender bender," but Fox clarified Monday by saying, "It was a pretty serious accident" and that Walker's car might be totaled. "There's no structural damage and luckily it wasn't more serious than that," Fox said. "But he was too stiff and sore Saturday night and then again Sunday morning when he woke up. He didn't sleep real good (Saturday night)."

--WR Dwayne Jarrett is likely to be the team's No. 3 receiver even when D.J. Hackett returns to the lineup.

--WR Steve Smith has scored a 65-yard touchdown in three straight games against the Arizona Cardinals. Not 66, not 64, but exactly 65. And three times. Strange but true.

--RB DeAngelo Williams ran for 108 yards, while Jonathan Stewart had just 10 yards on Sunday.

--RT Jeff Otah sat out his fourth game Sunday but should return after the bye.

--C Ryan Kalil missed his third straight game Sunday with an ankle injury but should return after the bye.


PASSING OFFENSE: B-plus -- Jake Delhomme completed 20 of 28 passes for 248 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions for a passer rating of 122.3. He would have had a third touchdown, but Muhsin Muhammad dropped a pass while wide-open in the end zone in the first half, and the Panthers wound up with a field goal. As for Steve Smith, he simply owns the Arizona Cardinals. In his last four games against them, he's caught 32 passes for 471 yards and five touchdowns. On Sunday, he finished with 117 yards and scored twice, including a pretty 65-yarder where he broke a tackle and somehow avoided stepping out bounds before racing for the end zone. Dwayne Jarrett had two big grabs, including a huge 17-yarder on third-and-10 on the game's final drive. The Panthers did give the Cardinals seven points in the first half when DeAngelo Williams admittedly missed a block and Karlos Dansby stripped Jake Delhomme of the ball at the Carolina 5. The Cardinals quickly cashed in with a touchdown.

RUSHING OFFENSE: B-plus -- DeAngelo Williams ran extremely hard on Sunday picking up 108 yards on 17 carries, while scoring on a 15-yard touchdown run. But his biggest run came on a 15-yard burst on third-and-13 late in the fourth quarter that allowed the Panthers to run out the clock. The Panthers tried four direct snaps to Williams (the same as Miami's "Wildcat" formation) and they worked, resulting in 23 yards. "We've done it all season," coach John Fox said. "We did it two years ago for the majority of the Falcon game there, so it's not new. People know we have it. We've been doing it for some time. It's just a change up." While Williams had a big day, rookie Jonathan Stewart struggled. He gained only 10 yards on eight carries. Brad Hoover had another successful short-yardage run on third down.

PASS DEFENSE: C -- The Panthers knew Kurt Warner was going to throw the ball plenty and he did just that, completing 35 of 49 passes for 381 yards. Warner had two touchdown passes to Anquan Boldin, but threw one costly interception to Jon Beason late in the fourth quarter. "He was quick-gaming us and their receivers were making big plays," Beason said. "(On the interception) we had tight coverage but I don't know what happened. The ball (was) tipped. I saw it and made a play on it and had a decent return. We were just waiting on it. Those two turnovers were huge for us today." As for Carolina's effort, Beason put it best when he said, "You know, bend but don't break. We stood up when he had to." The Panthers had two sacks, which is amazing considering how quickly Warner got rid of the football most of the time.

RUSH DEFENSE: A-plus -- The Panthers held Edgerrin James to 17 yards on seven carries and stripped him of the football deep in Arizona territory, leading to a Carolina touchdown. Tim Hightower was held to three yards on six carries. If not for Anquan Boldin's 30-yard run on a reverse, the Cardinals would not have surpassed 20 yards rushing. Outstanding effort all around.

SPECIAL TEAMS: A -- John Kasay improved to a perfect 16-for-16 on field goals this season, converting from 21 yards early and then hitting a big one from 50 yards in the fourth quarter to give Carolina a four-point lead. That meant the Cardinals had to score a touchdown instead of a field goal. Unlike the Cardinals, the Panthers didn't botch any extra points. Mark Jones was very good on kickoff returns, averaging 28.7 yards per return. Jason Baker punted three times and the Cardinals had zero net return yards. The Panthers also sniffed out a fake field goal, with rookie Charles Godfrey making a stop before the first down marker.

COACHING: A -- The Panthers fell behind by 14 early in the second half but showed great heart coming back to win. Of course, part of that has to be attributed to the coaches having these guys prepared. It marks the second time this season the Panthers have fallen behind 17-3 and came back and won. "We don't panic," said Julius Peppers. "We felt a sense of urgency that you need when you're down 17-3, but we always felt comfortable that we could still come back and make it a game."

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: October 28, 2008

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Jeff King Name: Jeff King
Position: TE
Age: 25
Experience: 3 years
College: Virginia Tech
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