Some individual defensive standouts, fairly strong offensive output initially and a few plays later combined with overall sputtering. Winning 24-21, the game ended with Carolina running the clock out versus the Giants' attempts in vain to make something happen to win (even including Tom Coughlin eagerly burning timeouts while Carolina sat on the ball in Giants territory with a minute to go).
The highlights so far:
- Jake Delhomme looks comfortable, calm, and steps into his throws again.
- Third down isn't a stress. We converted a lot of them, and we simply use options.
- We use the TE. We don't have a lot of talent there (yet), but we'll still use it.
- This offense sustains drives instead of killing them. Build drives, march. No worry of whether a long bomb will work, but room to take the shot.
- The OL gets to the line quickly and works crisply, together. No coming to the line slowly, waiting for the play clock to drain away (and drain the energy).
- Our youth at LB looks active (with exception to Anderson, who started at WLB). They still have some room to learn, and must.
- Steve Smith can effortlessly become the playmaker without it all being on his shoulders.
- Chris Harris looks like an active defender (but with the coverage problems you'd expect).
- Ken Lucas and Julius Peppers are still killers.
At DE, Stanley McClover really helped himself in the year since he came to camp in 06, and looks like the starter when Mike Rucker isn't in. Looks like Charles Johnson can play the run and use his power on OTs, as well. He has quickness, though, and needs to use some of it. Dave Ball even looked active. Otis Grigsby made a lot of waves in the 2nd half, but there probably isn't enough room. DTs didn't really stand out, but there seemed to be good pressure on first look and not a lot of room to run inside. A second look at the game will be more enlightening on the starters and backups. Kindal Moorehead did stand out, on run defense, in that he was getting blocked out. Apparently Moorehead just isnt' that functionally strong, and probably shouldn't make the cut. Stephen Williams is a big guy, who got some push, but Lavalais didn't show anything.
The DBs were hard to judge. A couple good plays here and there, a couple bad plays here and there. Nothing remarkable out of Deke Cooper, or any of the backups.
The WRs were erratic, save for Taye Biddle, who caught a couple easy balls for TDs, and Smith, who hauls anything short of ten feet over his head. Robinson showed some RAC ability, but Carter only caught a single 7 yard pass and Colbert went catchless.