|NOTES: Fox will stick with Moore next week against New Orleans|
|Written by Steve Reed|
|Sunday, 31 October 2010 18:52|
ST. LOUIS – Don’t expect another quarterback change this week for the Carolina Panthers despite Matt Moore’s three interceptions Sunday against the St. Louis Rams.|
“Right now Matt gives us our best chance,” coach John Fox said after the game when asked who’ll start Sunday against New Orleans. “We will evaluate it once we look at the tape and do something to get better and execute more consistently on offense. Like I said, we had progress last week. Not that it was outstanding, but better than today.”
Moore finished 23 of 37 for 194 yards with one touchdown and three picks, giving him 10 for the season.
He called his afternoon “frustrating.”
Normally pretty even-keeled, Moore showed some emotion after his last interception late in the game by punching his fists down in disgust and stomping off the field.
“We didn’t come out here and expect that and I maybe let the emotions get to me, which maybe I shouldn’t have done,” Moore said. “It’s just a little bit of everything. I was just trying to get it right.”
Both of Carolina’s scoring drives on Sunday came in no-huddle situations. When asked if he’d like to see the Panthers go with more no-huddle sets on offense, Moore replied, “Well, it’s not my call. We got in a little rhythm there, but that’s up to coaches and if they see fit, then yeah. But if not, we’ve got to execute our base offense. That’s just what we have to do.”
TRICKS, NO TREATS: The Panthers tried a couple of tricks on Halloween but received no treats in return.
On their first play from scrimmage Sunday, the Panthers ran a flea-flicker they’d worked on all week in practice but it resulted in a poorly-thrown interception by Moore, which he threw off his back foot. The Panthers dodged that bullet as the defense held and Josh Brown missed a 51-yard field goal.
“My hats off to (offensive coordinator) Jeff Davidson on that one because his tendency isn’t to open up the playbook, and Foxy (coach John Fox) OK’d it too,” said offensive tackle Jordan Gross. “That’s not something we normally do. I like the call. But it was bad. It was a bad way to start.”
A short while later, Davidson dug into the playbook again running a double reverse to David Gettis, but it too ended in disaster with a 12-yard loss.
ON THE RETURN: Smith was back for three punts on Sunday, before turning the task over the Captain Munnerlyn.
Munnerlyn made good on his only attempt, taking it back 31 yards. Smith has one return for 8 yards and two others were downed without him fielding the ball.
When asked if he’s done returning punts, Smith said, “My body is taking a beating a little bit and I can’t take all of the plays. I have to pick and choose and be smart with it. And with the way I was playing, I didn’t feel like making a bigger disaster than I already had.”
BEATING THEM SLOWLY: Rookie quarterback Sam Bradford completed 25 of 32 passes against the Panthers but only two passes went for more than 20 yards.
Basically, he beat the Panthers with short passes all day long, content to move the chains.
“It was a lot of little short stuff,” cornerback Richard Marshall said. “It gets frustrating because you’re on them, you know you’re there. (Bradford) would throw it to where only the receiver can catch it and the receivers were catching the ball so yeah it does get frustrating.”
GETTIS DISAPPEARS: A week ago, Gettis was the talk of the town with eight catches for 125 yards and two touchdowns in a win against San Francisco, but he was shut out on Sunday.
Gettis called his day “disappointing” but said the Rams didn’t do anything different than the 49ers did.
“No, all of the looks we got we worked on all week, so it was nothing different,” Gettis said. “We didn’t execute to the best of our ability.”
STARTING LINEUP CHANGE: The Panthers changed things up on defense Sunday, moving Nick Hayden into a starting role ahead of Ed Johnson at defensive tackle.
“It was one of those situations where nobody was necessarily kind of standing out, but that we tried to get a little different mix in there and give Nick a chance to stand up and do something,” defensive coordinator Ron Meeks said.
Hayden didn’t register a tackle, but helped fill some space in the middle and limit Steven Jackson to 59 yards rushing.
LaFELL GETS HIS FIRST: Brandon LaFell caught his first NFL touchdown pass on Sunday, but wasn’t in much of a mood to talk about it after the game.
“I would have rather had it last week when we won a game,” LaFell said. “Right now all I can think about is the missed opportunities we left out on the field. I can’t think about my first touchdown because we didn’t win the game.”
DEFENSE ON THE FIELD: Once again, Carolina’s defense spent way too much time on the field, as Fox readily pointed out.
Linebacker Jon Beason said that’s something the defense can control.
“We’re not forced to be on the field,” Beason said. “We go out there to get three-and-outs. That’s based on us. That’s what we’re supposed to do. Anything after that is on us. Obviously, when you’re fresh you can play faster, longer, but I love to play the game. So, I don’t want to watch, I don’t want to be on the sidelines standing, so I want to get out there and get off the field, that’s what we’re supposed to do on defense.”
THEY SAID IT: Beason talked about the team’s lack of consistency playing a role in the team’s overall confidence level.
“Well, we’ve consistently been bad and I think when things start to go bad it’s a snowball effect and everybody needs stay the course and stay positive and keep doing your job,” Beason said. “Don’t try to do more, don’t try to do less, just execute the game plan and I think things turnaround.”