Tag Archives: Russell Wilson

Carolina Panthers drop opener to Seattle Seahawks: What they’re saying

CHARLOTTE – The Carolina Panthers went back to a tried and true formula from last year in their 12-7 loss to the Seattle Seahawks Sunday. Stay close and lose. Let me repeat that – stay close and lose. And, the Panthers are not happy about it. This team needs to get off to a quick start – the last two seasons they have started 2-8, and that will be unacceptable for this year’s team.

Carolina Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams (34) dives back for the ball after fumbling as Seattle Seahawks Richard Sherman (25) stretches out for the ball. Seattle recovered the ball, ending the Panthers' chances to win on Sunday.
Carolina Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams (34) dives back for the ball after fumbling as Seattle Seahawks Richard Sherman (25) stretches out for the ball. Seattle recovered the ball, ending the Panthers’ chances to win on Sunday.

The Panthers were driving for a potential go-ahead score when running back DeAngelo Williams fumbled at the end of a 16-yard run inside the Seattle 10. Cornerback Richard Sherman hit Williams from the front, safety Earl Thomas popped the ball loose from behind, and defensive Tony McDaniel recovered at the Seahawks’ 8 with 5:25 left. Stay close and lose.

The announced Bank of America Stadium attendance was 73,294…and none of them came to see a replay of the last two seasons.

Here’s a round-up of quotes from players and coaches following the game:

DeAngelo Williams (76 yards on 16 carries): “It ultimately came down to that fumble, let’s just get that out of the way. It was my fault. In that situation, I’ve watched countless film on them and I know that’s what they do, they strip and go for the ball. But I’m a fighter. I’m going to fight for every yard that I can get and help my team win. When the ball came out, no one else was more (upset) than I was,” Williams said. “The hopes and dreams of the 11 guys on offense resided in that ball.”

Panthers head coach Ron Rivera: “You know I’d like to believe we have an opportunity to change (the memories of last season),” he said. “I’d like to believe that definitely we can get these things worked out and get it rolling. Again it’s a good football team we played against but we had opportunity … to beat a team that a lot of people are crowing right now. And you know it should be a wake-up call for us that hey, we can play with anybody and we are most certainly capable, and we’re going to win some football games.”

Rivera on what HE has to do to get over such a disheartening loss: “Go right back to work. I mean there’s really nothing you can do. … Just try to find the answer. I mean that’s what I’ll continue to do. And we found it last year late and it’s time to find it early. It really is. We can’t wait and I understand that and we will certainly find that answer and get rolling.”

Carolina Panthers receiver Steve Smith making a catch Sunday in a losing effort against the Seattle Seahawks in the Panthers' home opener.
Carolina Panthers receiver Steve Smith making a catch Sunday in a losing effort against the Seattle Seahawks in the Panthers’ home opener.

Panthers wide receiver (and most vocal of all Charlotte players) Steve Smith: “I think we’re going to see them again deep in January. For us to have played that team that’s considered by all accounts the best team in the NFL … I think if that’s who’s the best team, it came down to the last (minutes) and it was a well-fought game. Our season is not over.

“All the reports say we have to start fast or the season’s over,” Smith said. “If (Sunday’s game) means the season’s over, I’m not sure what kind of football y’all are used to around here. Because that’s not a quitting team.”

Panthers quarterback Cam Newton: “Let’s not panic now. We’re going to be all right. It’s just the first game. We played an unbelievable team and my hat goes off to Russell Wilson and those guys with Seattle. But I just feel like it was nothing that they did to stop us. It was just us that weren’t making the plays.”

Seahawks cornerback (and vocal team leader) Richard Sherman: “Great defenses find a way. And that’s what we try to do.”

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) being harassed by Panthers Defensive Tackle Colin Cole (91) who is being blocked by Seattle's J.R. Sweezy (64).
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) being harassed by Panthers Defensive Tackle Colin Cole (91) who is being blocked by Seattle’s J.R. Sweezy (64).

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (who finished with a regular-season career-high 320 passing yards, completing 25 of 33 pass attempts): “We just kept it alive,” speaking of overcoming the slow start offensively. “I think that attitude, that mentality, that coach (Pete) Carroll instills in us really gives us a chance to keep battling no matter what the circumstances are.”

Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll: “The way we started, we were backed up and they got after us pretty good,” speaking of Wilson, who finished with a quarterback rating of 115.7. “He didn’t start real well — it wasn’t necessarily him, but we didn’t get the completions.”

Carolina Panthers cornerback Captain Munnerlyn (41) and linebacker Luke Kuechly (59) fight to make a tackle on Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin (89). The defense played tough, although they allowed Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson to have a record-setting day.
Carolina Panthers cornerback Captain Munnerlyn (41) and linebacker Luke Kuechly (59) fight to make a tackle on Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin (89). The defense played tough, although they allowed Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson to have a record-setting day.

“I thought he did a great job against a very active pass rush,” Carroll said. “He’s more in command of everything that we are doing in every phase. We don’t have to hold anything back. We can do everything we can think of and he can handle it.”

The Panthers return to action next Sunday when they travel to Buffalo to meet the resurgent Bills (who should have beaten New England yesterday) in a critical game.

 

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5 Things I Learned About College Football – Week 13 Review

Calling for five upsets (well, picking the underdogs) in my Top Five Picks probably wasn’t the safest thing to do…but, as they say, no guts, no glory. What we all should have learned about college football this weekend was this: during rivalry weeks, forget about picking games and just enjoy them.

Here are the 5 Things I Learned About College Football This Weekend:

LSU and Alabama wil more than likely meet in a rematch for the BCS Championship on January 9 in New Orleans

1. Unfortunately, this coming weekend’s SEC Championship game and the Big 12’s Bedlam game won’t count for a thing in determining the BCS Championship game. It’s about as official as you can get, we’re getting a rematch between No. 1 LSU and No. 2 Alabama…this time in the Superdome in New Orleans. While LSU and Georgia will be playing in Atlanta this weekend for the SEC title, even if the Bulldogs pull an upset, LSU is very, very likely to return to the BCS title game. Alabama is off…and therefore will not drop below the No. 2 slot it occupies. Georgia, if they win, will get to the Sugar Bowl, and the SEC would get three BCS teams. Georgia is playing well (they thrashed Georgia Tech Saturday), but I don’t see them winning.

Southern California head coach Lane Kiffin, left, shakes hands with UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel after USC posted a 50-0 win over the Bruins

2. UCLA is a joke. A 50-0 loss in your rivalry game against a VERY GOOD USC team…disgraceful. It will probably cost Rick Neuheisel his job. Oregon will ROMP over the Bruins Friday night in Eugene (they opened as 31-point favorites) and will be the Pac 12’s representative in the Rose Bowl. USC is ineligible, which is too bad, because they have gotten much better as the year has progressed. I have been impressed with them over the past month and would have really liked to see them play Oregon again. But, to have a team like UCLA representing the South Division of the Pac 12 speaks for the poor quality of those teams. There’s only one decent team in that division…that’s Southern Cal.

Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd is wrapped up and tackled by South Carolina defenders Shaq Wilson, back, and Antonio Allen (26)...a scene repeated all too often in the Gamecocks victory over the Tigers

3. Same Old Clemson. There…I said it. Once again, the Tigers fell FLAT ON THEIR FACES in a game with meaning…their annual rivalry game in Columbia against South Carolina. They were hideous…and if they play this way in Saturday’s ACC Championship game in Charlotte against Virginia Tech, the Hokies will run them out of the park. Va. Tech has opened as just 7-point favorites in this one. I don’t see this happening…but I see Va. Tech looking at this one as a revenge game for the beating they took in Blacksburg earlier this year. Mark it down…Va. Tech will, once again, be heading to the Orange Bowl as the ACC Champions.

Wisconsin's Montee Ball (28) runs into the end zone for an 18-yard touchdown run against Penn State on Saturday

4. Wisconsin could beat anyone at home…and would give LSU and Alabama a tough time in Madison. Too bad they had to go on the road this year. Saturday, as 15 – 17 point FAVORITES, not only did they cover against Penn State, but they made the Nittany Lions look like a high school team. I seriously wondered if PSU could keep up their fine play following the distractions they have been through. But, I really thought their defense could contain the Badgers…and boy, was I ever wrong! For two weeks they did play well…but not against the Badgers. Russell Wilson and Montee Ball were outstanding. Wisconsin’s offensive line just kept pushing and pushing…and PSU could not push back. They clearly were sending a message to Michigan State…THIS is the team you will see in the Big Ten title match in Indianapolis on Saturday (Wisconsin has opened as 10 point favorites). Despite the fact that MSU beat Wisconsin with a last-second Hail Mary pass in East Lansing earlier this season, I think Wisconsin comes into the dome and blows MSU away. Then again, it is a neutral site game…if it was in Madison, I’d bet the farm (small as it is) on the Badgers.

And speaking of the Big Ten, how about that GREAT Michigan – Ohio State game? Finally…The Game is back and is relevant. A 40-34 win over the Buckeyes…it had been since 2003 since Michigan beat “Ohio”…plenty of action and drama…And we now have a 10-win Michigan team that will go to a major bowl…not a BCS bowl, but a nice way to end the season for Brady Hoke and his Wolverines!  And breaking news – Urban Meyer is the new OSU head coach…what a shocker…

According to reports, former Florida coach Urban Meyer will return to his Ohio roots as he will be the Ohio State University's new head football coach in 2012.

5. The BCS is flawed…and hopefully, sometime in my lifetime, there will be a tournament to determine the best college football team. Clearly, LSU and Alabama are the top teams this year…or are they? Let’s compare Alabama to Oklahoma State, whose one loss in overtime to Iowa State on a devastating day for OSU‘s athletic program has led to the probable SEC rematch in the BCS Championship Game on January 9. These numbers are what the NCAA Basketball Tournament Committee would be looking at, for instance:

  • Wins over current BCS Top 25 teams: Oklahoma State: 5, Alabama: 2.
  • Wins over current BCS Top 50 teams: Oklahoma State: 7, Alabama: 5.
  • Wins over FBS teams with winning records: Oklahoma State: 6, Alabama: 3.
  • Conference titles: Oklahoma State: 1, Alabama: 0.
  • Losses to Iowa State: Oklahoma State: 1, Alabama: 0.

Wow…on paper it certainly looks like Oklahoma State has the better team…but we’ll never know. Alabama has legions of followers, and as well as the Cowboys‘ fans think they travel…the truth is SEC teams travel better and maybe that’s something to consider. But the truth is this…SEC teams win national championships, the Big 12 teams do not.

And undefeated Houston will have ABSOLUTELY NO SHOT at the BCS title game either. They were very convincing in their win over Tulsa on Saturday, and now will face Southern Mississippi for the C-USA title on Saturday (Houston is a 13-1/2-point favorite, by the way).

There are MILLIONS ($$$) of reasons to have a playoff…Let’s not talk about the relevance of the minor bowl games…I know they provide money for the communities in which they are located, but, I said it last year and I’ll say it again, I just don’t care about a game between the sixth choice from the Big 10 and the 5th choice from the ACC. Seriously…won’t pick these games either. There are the big bowl games that will have some great match-ups…and I will watch casually. But there’s only one game everyone will watch…the Championship game in New Orleans…a short drive from both participants’ fan bases. That will be a fun time!

I’ll be back with a look at next weekend’s action later this week!