First-half observations on Panthers

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Some observations on the Panthers from their first-half performance against the Buccaneers.

  • I like what coordinator Jeff Davidson (and coach John Fox?) are doing with the offense. Although the Panthers have fallen behind twice, they’re sticking with the run. They’re not putting too much on quarterback Matt Moore. Tampa Bay’s defensive line is better against the run than it’s been the past couple years. But the Panthers are having some success and they continue to pound away at the line. That could pay off in the second half.

  • With Tyler Brayton out with an injury, the Panthers started Everette Brown at defensive end. But I saw rookie Greg Hardy rotating in their quite a bit and he was putting some pressure on quarterback Josh Freeman.

  • Carolina fans aren’t showing a lot of patience with Moore. The “boo birds’’ started after an incompletion with 3:51 left in the first quarter. But Moore silenced them when he hit Steve Smith with a 37-yard touchdown pass early in the second quarter. Moore had a nice throw on a play where Aqib Talib had pretty good coverage. But Smith deserves the real credit for making a nice grab, breaking free from Talib’s tackle attempt and strolling to the end zone when there was no safety help.