This game had Panthers winning by wide margin written all over it. I thought there was no way the Cardinals could stop the Panthers running game with Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams. I thought the victory over the Falcons was a mirage. Yet, the victor was the Arizona Cardinals via a blow out.
For whatever reason, the Panthers just let Larry Fitzgerald roam free in the secondary. The Panthers played a lot of zone coverage and let Fitzgerald get free release off the line of scrimmage. They barely double teamed Fitzgerald. The gameplan for the Panthers was terrible. The defense wasn't getting any pressure on Kurt Warner at all in the first half. Warner picked them apart as a result of their lack of a pass rush. The Panthers had to stop one guy by the name of Larry Fitzgerald and they didn't. It helped cost them the game. The defense played well in the second half giving up only 6 points but the game was over by halftime. H-A-L-F-T-I-M-E! The Cardinals won this game at halftime! Unbelieveable!
You know what was worse? Jake Delhomme. Delhomme was awful. Pathetic. Atrocious. Terrible. Dreadful. He was just plain bad. Delhomme made rookie mistakes in this game: holding on to the football too long, staring down receivers, specifically Steve Smith, didn't read the coverage correctly at all and throwing balls into double coverage. The former NFL Europe star made Joe Flacco look like a 10 year HOF bound veteran. This loss is on Jake Christopher Delhomme. Delhomme's turnovers came at inopportune times. On the first play of the Panthers 3rd drive, Jake Delhomme holds onto the football far too long and fumbles the football. Antonio Smith gets the sack, forced fumble, and recovered the fumble. That is what could happen when holding onto the football for too long. Delhomme threw two interceptions in the redzone. He also turned the ball on twice on the first play of drives. Yikes!
I can't believe John Foxx didn't insert Matt Moore into the game. Delhomme did not deserve to finish the game. Matt Moore couldn't have worsened the situation. I don't think anybody could've played worse than how Delhomme did in this game, that includes Brett Favre. If I am the Panthers GM, I'm looking for a franchise quarterback. When Delhomme is good, he is great. When Delhomme is bad, he is downright dreadful. He is 33 and shouldn't have made those mistakes he made in this game. Panthers need a franchise quarterback or start Matt Moore, who did win a NFC Offensive Player of Month during his rookie campaign. They need a change at the quarterback position.
As for the Arizona Cardinals, they'll be playing against the Eagles next Sunday. I'm not sold on the Cardinals yet. I will be if they beat the Eagles, but I do not think that is going to happen. Each team they've played was one-dimensional, and neither opponent had a quarterback on the level of Donovan McNabb. The Eagles won't let Kurt Warner have all day to throw in the pocket. Jim Johnson will bring more defenders than the Cardinals can block on nearly every play. Either way, the game will be fun to watch.