Observations on Carolina's loss to Miami

The Panthers got a good performance from DeAngelo Williams and the running game. Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

You can’t blame Jake Delhomme for this one. Yes, he did throw one interception to end his streak of three games without an interception, but that one didn’t crush the Panthers. Overall, Delhomme was fairly efficient and Carolina also had a good night from the running game in Thursday's 24-17 loss.

Also, who thought it would be a good idea to have Delhomme throwing the ball 42 times? Hasn’t it been well established that Delhomme is a game manager and not the kind of guy you want slinging it 42 times? When you’re a team that’s supposedly built on the running game, you should stick with the running game.

You can put the blame for this loss on a couple of other things. Let’s start with the offensive line. With left tackle Jordan Gross out for the season with a broken ankle, the offensive line struggled to protect Delhomme. He was sacked four times and several of those killed drives.

You can also blame the defense and I say that was the biggest culprit of all. A John Fox defense is supposed to be dominant and the Panthers weren’t even close. Veteran running back Ricky Williams looked like a young Ricky Williams as he ran for 119 yards and two touchdowns. The Dolphins got a very efficient performance from quarterback Chad Henne.

Speaking of Henne and the Carolina defense, the Panthers didn’t have a single sack. Julius Peppers, playing with a broken bone in his hand, was pretty much a non-factor.