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Plays to Love Ryan Kalil Jersey , Plays to Hate (aka “P2L, P2H”) looks at the most significant plays in swinging momentum and impacting the eventual outcome of the game. There is always plenty to hate about NFL officiating, so we will only focus on the plays on the field, not the refs.Three plays to love2nd Quarter 15:00 – Panthers 7, Ravens 7. Ravens ball 2nd-and-4 at BLT 31 The Situation: The first quarter consisted of one long Ravens touchdown drive followed by one long Panthers touchdown drive and a 7-7 tie. Baltimore had just started its second drive with six-yard reception as the first quarter ended.The Play: Kyle Love came unblocked up the middle and drilled Alex Collins the moment he took the handoff. Love’s huge hit jarred the ball loose and Vernon Butler recovered the fumble at the Baltimore 12. Three plays later, Cam Newton hit Greg Olsen for a touchdown and a 14-7 Panthers lead.2nd Quarter 5:26 – Panthers 14, Ravens 7. Panthers ball 3rd-and-1 at BLT 45 The Situation: Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good. The Play(s): Facing 3rd-and-1, Cam Newton was pressured on a pitch to D.J. Moore and the errant pitch hit Moore’s hand then bounced off the ground as a fumble. Fortunately for the Panthers, the ball popped right back up into Moore’s arms and he ran for 37-yard gain to the Baltimore 17. Two plays later, Cam threw a laser to Devin Funchess but a Ravens defender tipped the ball up in the air just past the line of scrimmage. Christian McCaffrey alertly adjusted his route, leaped in the air, and high-pointed the ball for a zany touchdown reception before any Ravens defenders could pick it off. This drive could’ve ended with a lost fumble or an interception, but instead the Panthers ended up with seven points. To quote Napoleon Dynamite, “Luckyyyyy!” 2nd Quarter 0:05 – Panthers 21, Ravens 7. Panthers ball 4th-and-7 at BLT 49 The Situation: This was bizarre, but effective. Instead of attempting a 62-yard field goal to end the first half, the Panthers took a delay of game. Taylor Heinicke was inserted at quarterback to attempt a Hail Mary because Cam’s shoulder wasn’t feeling up to making the long throw.The Play: The Ravens dropped multiple defenders into deep coverage leaving Greg Olsen wide open off the line. Here’s what Heinecke said happened next, “Greg was yelling at me while he was going out for the route. ‘Taylor! Taylor! Taylor!’ That’s all he was yelling as the ball was getting snapped.” Heinicke hit Olsen for an easy 13-yard gain to the Baltimore 36 with :02 left, setting up a successful 54-yard Graham Gano field goal and a 24-7 halftime lead.Three Two plays to hate1st Quarter 10:23 – Panthers 0 Authentic Graham Gano Jersey , Ravens 0. Ravens ball 2nd-and-14 at BLT 46 The Situation: The Ravens faced 2nd-and-14 from near midfield on the game’s opening drive. They picked up five yards to now face an apparent 3rd-and-9, but the refs threw a flag after the play had ended. The Play: Dontari Poe was called for a 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty for apparently making contact with a Ravens player while Poe was on the sideline! He wasn’t even in the game! Instead of 3rd-and-9 from the Carolina 49, it was now 1st-and-10 from the Carolina 34. The Ravens ended up scoring a touchdown on this drive thanks in large part to Poe’s dumb penalty. 1st Quarter 7:57 – Panthers 0, Ravens 0. Ravens ball 2nd-and-10 at CAR 14 The Situation: The Ravens took the game’s opening possession on a long drive down to the Panthers 14. The Play: Alex Collins took a handoff up the middle. Eric Reid came untouched from the safety spot but allowed Collins to spin right out of his tackle and into the end zone for a touchdown. Thomas Davis fought off a block but whiffed on his tackle attempt as well. Better tackling by Reid and Davis would’ve forced a 3rd-and-4 instead of a Ravens score. Closing it out and summing it upMan, only two plays to hate and they were both in the first quarter. What a great game! Consistency is going to be the key for the 2018 Carolina Panthers. They can look absolutely awesome at times like they did this week against the Ravens and in last week’s second half against the Philadelphia Eagles. They can also look like a dumpster fire like they did against the New York GIants and against Washington. But at 5-2, the Panthers are rolling right now.D.J. Moore had the best game of his rookie season with five receptions (on six targets) for 90 yards with an additional 39 rushing yards on two carries. Cam Newton, the reigning NFL Offensive Player of the Week, was incredible yet again going 21-for-29 with 219 yards and two passing touchdowns, plus an additional 52 rushing yards and a score. Defensively, Donte Jackson is a stud in coverage and had a lightning-quick sack on Joe Flacco. Captain Munnerlyn made a nice play undercutting a route for an interception. I’m getting really worried about Dontari Poe, though. He’s made zero impact plays this year and I think I only heard his name called against the Ravens for the boneheaded penalty. On special teams, Michael Palardy pinned the Ravens once at the one yard line and another time at the eight. Graham Gano went 3-for-3, including a 54-yarder, to remain perfect on the season. These guys are flat out ballin’!At 5-2 the Panthers control their playoff destiny and with performances like this Carolina could make some serious noise in the postseason. Plays to love season leaders3 - D.J. Moore, James Bradberry2 - Cam Newton, Christian McCaffrey, Efe Obada, Kyle Love, Torrey Smith Youth James Bradberry Jersey , 1 - Colin Jones, Devin Funchess, Donte Jackson, Graham Gano, Greg Olsen, Julius Peppers, Kawann Short, Mario Addison, Norv Turner, Taylor Heinicke, Wes HortonPlays to hate season leaders4 - Mike Adams3 - Eric Reid2 - Cam Newton, Christian McCaffrey, D.J. Moore, Dontari Poe1 - Amini Silatolu, C.J. Anderson, Captain Munnerlyn, Colin Jones, Devin Funchess, Donte Jackson , Eric Washington, Ian Thomas, Thomas Davis, Trai Turner The Panthers defense played like garbage today. There’s no nice way to say it. That’s the bottom line of how today’s 31-24 loss to the Falcons went. If the Panthers’ defense played a semi-competent game, the Panthers would be 2-0 right now. It’s unfortunate that it ended up this way, because the offense played well enough to win. It just wasn’t meant to be, it seems.Let’s dive into the winners and losers from today’s action.WinnersCam Newton: Newton had a great game today if you account for the fact that his receivers let him down multiple times by dropping perfectly thrown passes. He finished the day 32-of-45 passing for 335 yards with three touchdowns and one interception (that totally wasn’t his fault, but we’ll get to that later). Considering 14 of those receptions and 102 of those yards came from Christian McCaffrey, you can see that Newton would have probably left Atlanta with a win if his receivers would have been able to produce for him.Christian McCaffrey: As I mentioned previously, McCaffrey hauled in 14 receptions for 102 yards today and was a key factor in the Panthers moving the ball on offense. He lined up all over the field and made quality plays to keep the chains moving throughout the afternoon. It’s unfortunate that hardly anyone else stepped up, but if the Panthers can keep using McCaffrey like they did against the Falcons the offense has the potential to be dangerous this season.Jarius Wright: Wright grabbed five catches for 62 yards and a touchdown this afternoon, and he also picked up several key first downs for the Panthers to keep the chains moving. He is a key asset on third down and is one of the best free agent pickups the Panthers have made in a long time. The Panthers finally have their “go-to guy” on third down, and that will benefit the offense as the season progresses.D.J. Moore: Moore took his first career reception and turned it into an electrifying 51-yard touchdown reception that pulled the Panthers to within one score late in the fourth quarter. He almost hauled in the game-tying touchdown as time expired as well, but it just wasn’t meant to be. At any rate, we saw good things from Moore today and should continue to see them as he gets familiar with the speed of the NFL.Graham Gano: He buried a 54-yard field goal to give the Panthers a 3-0 lead in the first quarter. Yeah, that’s good enough to make the winner’s column today. Let that marinate for a few minutes.

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