Scott Says

Winnable games ahead for Panthers (and opponents)

sfowler@charlotteobserver.comOctober 6, 2013 

— The next four games the Panthers play will all be against team with losing records, so the Panthers have to be looking at those as very winnable. Then again, those teams are looking at the Panthers and going, “Well, if we can beat anybody at all, we should be able to beat Carolina.”

•  Carson Palmer, who threw three interceptions but still got the win for Arizona, had high praise for the Panthers’ defensive line afterward. “That is the best front four we have played so far,” Palmer said. “It’s probably the best front four we will play for awhile. I know Seattle’s good, but I don’t know if they are that good.”

•  Whatever happened to Greg Olsen in this game? The Panthers tight end had five catches for 79 yards in the first half, then no catches in the second – nor was he targeted a single time.

•  The retractable roof was closed at University of Phoenix Stadium, although with the big rectangular windows in the upper deck you could see glimpses of a powerful sun. They generally close the roof for early-season games to let everyone be more comfortable – temperatures were in the low 90s Sunday at game time.

•  I did think Charles Johnson had a sack/strip/fumble/touchdown quadruple play in the second quarter, but the officials ruled Carson Palmer was already down. That may have been the best chance the Panthers had to score a touchdown all day.

•  It was a very quiet day for DeAngelo Williams (12 rushes, 39 yards), but that was to be expected. Arizona’s run defense is one of the best in the league. To see the Cardinals manhandle Carolina’s offensive line so often, for seven sacks (including one for a safety), had to be disheartening for the Panthers’ brass, however. You have to imagine that the Panthers will likely take an offensive lineman in the first or second round of the 2014 NFL draft – and maybe two.

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