What a mess. Looks like, to a point, a young team came in a lot less ready, and possibly more full of itself, than last week.
Make no mistake, Cam Newton isn't ready. He lacked last week's poise, and had more bad mechanics plays than last week. There were a few runs, and suddenly it was realized that simply taking off isn't worth a first down anymore. Needless to say, Newton's going to be involved this year, but it's a lot less than many anticipated. Of course, 7-14 looks better than last week's 8 of 19, but there weren't many downfield passes. And I don't believe 4 rushes for 18 yards was what he envisioned out of his first start, either.
Jimmy Clausen was an efficient 9 for 15, but didn't often come up with any more efficiency than Newton. There was only one deep shot downfield - a David Clowney shot that came back - so the theory of a deep ball offense ended up looking more West Coast than Coryell. There was no Derek Anderson - the guy who came in at the end of last week and was not only the first guy to get a 3rd down conversion, but also a scoring drive. At this point, I know they will have to field Newton doing something, but I almost want to see Anderson starting more than Clausen (who deserves another shot here, if possible, before eventually being sent off for value). At this point the team is more important than either young QB, both of which are just so green. I also wouldn't mind winning a few football games and don't see it happening without third down conversions.
The defense, of course, got plenty of work in, 2010 style. They couldn't get off the field, in the same fashion that the offense couldn't stay on. They had trouble stopping Reggie Bush, the perfect guy to thwart a blitzing defense - his draws and swing passes gave him 88 yards from scrimmage quickly. A rusty Thomas Davis had some great plays, and some misses. Same for James Anderson. The backup defense quickly entered around the second quarter, while the expensive Miami OL pounded them for long drives.