You want to talk about a bad idea? What about that fake punt the Panthers ran? It ultimately didnt hurt the team because Haruki Nakamura intercepted Josh Freemans pass on the very next play.
But still. Youre ahead 14-10 as the Panthers were, youve got fourth-and-6 at your 41 early in the third quarter ... and you want to gamble then? (Nakamura was tackled for a 4-yard loss on a play that never had a chance).
If the Panthers want to be riverboat gamblers, it makes more sense to go for fourth-and-1 from the Tampa Bay 49 with 1:09 to go in regulation and nursing a 21-13 lead. Because if you make that, the game is over.
But head coach Ron Rivera punted there much like he did in the Atlanta game earlier this year, as he has obviously taken a course in John Fox 101: The Art of Midfield Punting.
In both cases, the opposing team went down and scored.
• Norm the Niner of the Charlotte 49ers literally lost his head twice in a rough, entertaining game of mascot football at halftime. Every Panthers halftime show should either feature mascot football or Frisbee dogs.
• If youre going to activate Joe Adams, let him touch the ball. The Panthers had Captain Munnerlyn back there on the first punt return, which he fumbled, before Adams got a chance. I think the rookie should be returning at least half the kickoffs, too (his two punt returns went for an average of 13.5 yards). If youre not going to give him a chance at this point in the season, whats the point?
• Its hard to believe that after 10 regular-season games the Panthers still dont have a player with even 400 yards rushing. Tampa Bay rookie running back Doug Martin now has exactly 1,000 rushing yards for the season, which is more than Cam Newton, Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams combined.