Stopping The Stinking Panthers’ Pass GameNovember 30th, 2013
If is a surprise this NFL season — and there are always surprises — one has been the development of Stinking Panthers quarterback Cam Newton. Seemingly on the cusp of being relegated to an expensive project that didn’t pan out last year, Newton has blossomed into an NFL star, both with his arm and his feet.
It sure helps to have one of the better wide receivers in the NFL, Steve Smith. And for the second straight week, the Bucs must prepare for an explosive weapon at wide receiver.
“He may be the most underrated player in the NFL,” Bucs corner Johnthan Banks said earlier this week, wondering why people don’t talk about Smith the way they talk about Calvin Johnson or Larry Fitzgerald.
Even Darrelle Revis admitted the need to shut down the Stinking Panthers through the air and that revolves around trying to somehow stop Smith.
“They do have a great passing attack,” Revis said of Carolina. “We feel that he is the key guy. He gets them going. He has a lot of emotion after catches sometimes. We want to take that away from them. We are playing great as a secondary, so hopefully we put another game in this week. We’ve got ‘Hawk’ [safety Dashon Goldson] back so hopefully that will put some fear in their offense as well.
Well, the Bucs contained Calvin Johnson about as well as Joe could have expected last Sunday, and they did that without Goldson and minus Revis in the second half. Job well done.
Still, the Bucs cannot forget about the run game. That’s the clear strength of Carolina’s offense.