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Saturday, October 26, 2013

V/s Tampa Bay - Aftermath

Another bad team, another performance that's quietly becoming typical.
Score 30 points, hold the team under two TDs, with Cam having a 130+
rating. Not only is that the average, it's more or less the expected
outcome lately.

It's as if Carolina is playing December ball in the games they needed
to have won to make those December blowouts matter (since they rarely
did, from '09 to '11 to '12). There are even some common opponents in
the recent blowouts, though Minnesota, NYG, and Tampa were all
theoretically better teams in the other blowouts.

And there's the rub. Tampa matched up fairly well, and you could tell
that Carolina just made the few plays they needed to make it happen
(though, it's tougher to make the plays you need, when you're trying to
sit on a two score lead). This is a Tampa team that could've won this
game and couldn't get out of its way.

I don't say that to discredit Carolina's win. For every team that does
what it needs to do to win, there's a team that didn't. Carolina's
doing everything it needs to win, from running the ball somewhat well
against a strongly ranked run D, to making plays on defense, to being
efficient in the passing game with a lead. Tampa couldn't do any of
those, and clearly needed to do it.

The defense made most of its plays, as did the offense, but there were
still some blips - Captain Munnerlyn dropped two picks, though one was
diving. Ted Ginn dropped a likely TD as well. Another potential bummer
came of Charles Johnson's groin injury, but so far it seems all is going
to be well enough there.


Lately I've started to like doing a post-mortem on the opponent.
Tampa's design has always been interesting, and not less so now that
they're on borrowed time with an unlikeable coach and a rookie
quarterback. Glennon takes pressure well, but he invites a ton of it,
too - I don't know if he's the future guy and whoever comes aboard might
not go with him. I almost hope they do - I think the ceiling's low on
him.

Either way, Schiano's getting what he deserves. It's interesting in a
copy-cat league that the Bucs are a unique mix of awful and dirty that
means that teams scout past teams to see how to kneel down when victory
is assured. Carolina wasn't the first team to kneel out of shotgun.
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