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 Заголовок сообщения: James Bradberry (with help from Eric Reid) was incredible
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Only in a land populated by crazy people would the 100th pick in the draft be perceived as a threat to a guy on a $100 million contract who has an MVP on the shelf.Then again — as we’ve written for years — Cam Newton makes people stupid.After using their compensatory third-rounder on West Virginia quarterback Will Grier last night Carolina Panthers Customized Jerseys , Panthers General Manager Marty Hurney and coach Ron Rivera spent much of their midnight press conference talking about how it affected — or didn’t affect — Newton.“Nothing to do with Cam,” Hurney said. “I said he’s our franchise quarterback. This is about depth and bringing in young guys and developing young guys. This has nothing to do with Cam Newton. Cam Newton is our starting quarterback and franchise quarterback. This is just about bringing in young guys to develop and depth.”So, just to be clear, is this about Cam? Is he the franchise? Will he still be the starter?Of course he is, and was, and will be. And the fact the Panthers had to specify whether they called Cam late Friday night to tell him (they didn’t) or whether Grier was pro-ready (such that anyone is) speaks more to the larger issues that surround the first overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.Because he never fit in the preconceived quarterback trait box (and because of the unfortunate cultural reality), people have been picking Newton apart for what he isn’t since his days at Florida. He has done things along the way to invite some criticism, but never in proportion with his talents and skills — or the fact he was able to drag a team without great offensive talent to a national title at Auburn and to a 15-1 record and a Super Bowl appearance with the Panthers.Simply put, the Panthers needed to draft Grier because they hadn’t drafted a quarterback since Newton, and they lacked enough of a backup to be comfortable.The fact Newton’s turning 30, has two years left on his contract, and is coming off shoulder surgery has created something of a local paranoia. But the kinds of people who think Grier is a replacement apparently don’t realize that good teams regard drafting backups as commodities as a strategy. The Patriots used seconds and thirds on Ryan Mallett, Jacoby Brissett, and Jimmy Garoppolo, and somehow Tom Brady remains; the same way Ben Roethlisberger has continued despite the additions of Mason Rudolph Carolina Panthers T-Shirts , Josh Dobbs, and Landry Jones with thirds and fourths.“I think Cam understands that this is about depth at the position,” Hurney said.That Hurney had to say it out loud suggests his fan base does not. Plays to Love, Plays to Hate (aka “P2L, P2H”) looks at the most significant plays in swinging momentum and impacting the eventual outcome of the game. There is always plenty to hate about NFL officiating, so we will only focus on the plays on the field, not the refs.Three plays to love1st Quarter 11:58 – Panthers 0, Buccaneers 0. Bucs ball 2nd-and-8 at TB 22The Situation: The Bucs and the Panthers had both gone three-and-out on their first possessions. Tampa Bay was now just beginning their second drive.The Play: Ryan Fitzpatrick overthrew his intended receiver by a country mile and the ball sailed right into the hands of Eric Reid for an easy interception. Reid returned the interception 39 yards down to the Tampa Bay 10 yard line, setting up an Alex Armah touchdown and an early 7-0 Panthers lead. 2nd Quarter 6:33 – Panthers 28, Bucs 7. Bucs ball 4th-and-9 at TB 26The Situation: The Panthers had scored touchdowns on four straight drives to jump out to a 28-7 lead midway through the second quarter. The Bucs were desperate to change momentum as they lined up to punt. The Play: The Bucs gambled on a high-risk, low-reward fake punt from deep in their own territory. Ben Jacobs pressured punter Bryan Anger on the throw while David Mayo deflected the pass. The Panthers took possession at the Tampa Bay 25 and scored yet another touchdown to go up 35-7. I think Tampa Bay’s coaching staff panicked here. Yes, Carolina’s offense was an avalanche at this point, but we all know how the second half played out. After the Panthers went up 35-7, the Bucs scored the next 21 points to narrow the gap to 35-28 early in the fourth quarter. What if Tampa Bay had just punted here? What if Carolina’s offense fell apart with 28 points instead of 35? What if the Bucs tied the game at 28-28 instead of still being down a touchdown? The second half could have played out very differently if Tampa just punts here, but that’s only a guess on my part. 4th Quarter 13:04 – Panthers 35 https://www.carolinapanthersfanshop.com/hats , Bucs 28. Panthers ball 3rd-and-2 at CAR 33The Situation: The Panthers offense had gone ice cold. After scoring touchdowns on five straight drives to go up 35-7, Carolina’s offense went punt (three-and-out), punt (three-and-out), and turnover on downs (burned all three timeouts). In the meantime, Tampa Bay’s offense caught fire and cut the lead to 35-28. The Panthers had lost all momentum and were now facing the prospect of another three-and-out as they lined up for 3rd-and-2.The Play: Christian McCaffrey slipped out of the backfield and into the left flat and found himself open. Cam Newton hit him with a short pass and CMC motored 20 yards to the Tampa Bay 47. The third down conversion extended a drive that ended with a Curtis Samuel touchdown and a 42-28 Panthers lead. If the Panthers don’t convert here, they would have punted deep in their own territory with a seven point lead. Yes, there were more spectacular plays in this game including McCaffrey’s hurdle, Curtis Samuel’s double reverse, and Greg Olsen’s one-handed touchdown, but I think getting this first down was a huge momentum shifter to get the Panthers offense back on track. Three plays to hate2nd Quarter 0:19 – Panthers 35, Bucs 7. Bucs ball 4th-and-Goal at CAR 3The Situation: The Bucs had one final play to end the half to try to cut into the Panthers overwhelming 35-7 lead.The Play: O.J. Howard came in motion from left to right and used the momentum to just run away from Luke Kuechly in coverage. Howard scored an easy touchdown and made Luke look shockingly slow on the play. The play cut the Panthers lead to 35-14 at the half.3rd Quarter 4:25 – Panthers 35, Bucs 21. Panthers ball 1st-and-10 at CAR 41The Situation: After two three-and-outs to start the third quarter, the Panthers offense needed to get something going.The Play(s): I hated multiple plays on this entire drive and will pin these on Norv Turner and Ron Rivera. At the 4:25 mark the Panthers had to burn a timeout to prevent a delay of game. At 3:02 they burned their second timeout. At 2:58 they challenged a play and lost, thus losing their final timeout. At 2:09 the Panthers faced 4th-and-1 from the Tampa Bay 34 and converted with a Cam Newton sneak. However, Carolina was flagged for illegal motion and now faced 4th-and-6 from the Tampa Bay 38. Rivera went for it and Cam Newton’s underneath throw to Devin Funchess only gained two yards and the Panthers turned it over on downs. This sequence was a two minute clown show.3rd Quarter 0:18 – Panthers 35 Carolina Panthers Hoodie , Bucs 21. Bucs ball 3rd-and-17 at TB 14The Situation: Tampa Bay had reeled off 14 straight points to cut Carolina’s lead to 35-21 near the end of the third quarter. The Panthers defense just needed to hold on 3rd-and-17 to stop theBucs momentum.The Play: This “Play to Hate” gets pinned squarely on defensive coordinator Eric Washington. Rather than staying at least somewhat aggressive, Washington went into a deep, soft zone. Both Eric Reid and Mike Adams were more than 20 yards off the line of scrimmage at the snap. Donte Jackson released Chris Godwin on a streak down the sideline and safety help over the top was nowhere to be seen. Godwin easily converted with a 25-yard gain. This drive ended with a touchdown to trim the Panthers lead to a sphincter-clenching 35-28. Just a horrible scheme by Washington. Closing it out and summing it upThe Panthers are 6-2 and that’s all that matters. They have the third best record in the NFC, trailing the one-loss Los Angeles Rams (8-1) and New Orleans Saints (7-1). It might not always be pretty, but the Panthers just keep on winning. Let’s be happy with that. On offense, Newton and McCaffrey were brilliant. Greg Olsen is an old reliable security blanket. Curtis Samuel and D.J. Moore looked incredibly explosive with the ball in their hands. Blocking was generally solid. Play calling was creative. It’s all love when the offense hangs 42 points on a division rival. Defensively, Eric Washington’s soft defensive coverages on third-and-long has got to stop. In addition to the “Play to Hate” above (converting on 3rd-and-17), the Bucs also converted on a 3rd-and-15 in the first quarter. Be more aggressive, Eric! James Bradberry (with help from Eric Reid) was incredible in shutting down Mike Evans with just one catch on 10 targets. Donte Jackson came up with yet another clutch interception to seal the game. Mario Addison was a sack machine with a little help from his friends. I love the black-on-black uniforms. We are the Panthers. Panthers are black. More black-on-black uniforms please. The Panthers need to learn how to put teams away. This game never should’ve ended up 35-28 in the fourth quarter. That said, it’s hard to be unhappy with a 14-point win against a division rival. Let the good times roll!Plays to love season leaders3 - Cam Newton, Christian McCaffrey, D.J. Moore, James Bradberry2 - Efe Obada, Kyle Love, Torrey Smith C.J. Anderson Jersey , 1 - Ben Jacobs, Colin Jones, David Mayo, Devin Funchess, Donte Jackson, Eric Reid, Graham Gano, Greg Olsen, Julius Peppers, Kawann Short, Mario Addison, Norv Turner, Taylor Heinicke, Wes HortonPlays to hate season leaders4 - Mike Adams3 - Eric Reid2 - Cam Newton, Christian McCaffrey Russell Color Rush Shepard Jersey , D.J. Moore, Dontari Poe, Eric Washington1 - Amini Silatolu, C.J. Anderson, Captain Munnerlyn, Colin Jones, Devin Funchess, Donte Jackson, Ian Thomas, Luke Kuechly, Norv Turner, Ron Rivera, Thomas Davis, Trai Turner

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