Baltimore Ravens defeat Carolina Panthers 38-10


The Carolina Panthers never had a chance. Wait, that’s not quite true. There was a time in the second quarter when they had a chance, but then it was gone. To say it was all Steve Smith would be fun, even expected, but it wasn’t. The Panthers had failures in multiple key areas that prevented them from mounting anything like a comeback. Here are five things we learned from the Panthers’ 38-10 loss to the Baltimore Ravens

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1.Who is Tauren Poole?

The Panthers signed Poole last week after our running back list started to look pretty bare. It showed against the Ravens. DeAngelo Williams had a decent outing until his ankle got popped and he was gone (Cue Nick Goings’ music). Darrin Reaves looked outmanned, particularly on pass protection duties for Cam. Poole fumbled on his first carry. The running back problem needs to be solved, or a major aspect of the Panthers’ formula is screwed.

2.Our receivers aren’t that bad

A continuing revelation for the Panthers is that our receiving corps is playing well. Naturally a big chunk of that is Kelvin Benjamin, which is great. This game saw some contributions by Jerricho Cotchery and Jason Avant.

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  • 3.Joe Flacco destroyed our secondary

    Flacco let it fly against the Panthers’s defensive backfield, finding one-on-one matchups and getting either completions or pass interference penalties. The latter are not visible in Flacco’s 22 of 31, 327 yards and 3 touchdowns, but they were there. That of course brings up…

    4.Pass rush? Where was that?

    The Ravens offensive line had its way with the Panthers front seven. This was despite rookie James Hurst getting the start at tackle. The Ravens averaged 4.2 per rush and Flacco was never sacked. The Panthers must win the trench wars to win, that is how they are designed. Against the Ravens they lost that battle on both sides.

    Sep 28, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith, Sr. (89) shakes hands with Carolina Panthers wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin (13) after defeating the Panthers 38-10 at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

    5.All About Steve

    Steve Smith played his best game of the last three years in the FIRST HALF. He had two touchdowns, including a lucky tip play where he was out of position. He had 139 receiving yards. Even though he was quiet in the second half, spending some of that time on the bench, Smith did enough to win the win the game by himself.

    PS- Ditch the twelve man punt return play, that alone might have changed the outcome.