anthers fall to the Colts 21-18 in the second half
In the preseason opener, the Panthers played well in the first half but couldn’t maintain their momentum in the second half, losing 21-18 to the Colts.
The Panthers kicked off the 2021 preseason against the Colts in a contest that saw none of the Panthers’ starters plays.
Will Grier took over for the second half after P.J. Walker opened the game as quarterback and played the whole first half.
It was a tale of two halves in the end.
The second and third units performed admirably against the Colts in the first half, and the Panthers led 15-10 at halftime.
The second half was less entertaining, with the bottom of the roster players committing failed assignments, costly penalties, and poorly executed offensive plays.
With 0:07 left in the game, the Colts were able to cut the distance on the Panthers and eventually grabbed a 21-18 lead, which was the game’s final score.
Before you get too worked up about this game, remember that it’s only the first preseason game, and it’s not a guarantee of how the club will do during the regular season.
Today, none of our starters participated, and Rhule appeared to be using the game to gauge which roster moves he’ll have to make on Tuesday when he has to make roster cuts.
There were a number of pointless penalties, especially for false starts, but those can be corrected.
It’s not time to worry just yet, but it does mean the Panthers have a lot of work ahead of them before they face the Jets in Week 1.
For those who are interested, a more complete overview of the activity, split down by quarter, can be seen below.
in the first quarter
The Panthers won the toss and chose to play in the second half.
The defence struggled to keep the Colts from moving down the field at first, but eventually settled down and forced a punt courtesy to a crucial third-down stop by Sean Chandler on a blitz.
On their first drive, the Panthers’ second-team offence did a good job of moving the ball down the field, capitalising on a 60-yard catch and run by Terrace Marshall (on a broken play where Walker scrambled out of the pocket to find the receiver, no less) to put the first points on the board, thanks to a 29-yard field goal from Joey Slye to give the Panthers a 3-0 lead with just over six minutes left.
With 2:50 left in the quarter, the Colts repeated the Panthers’ last drive by taking advantage of a big pass
play in the passing game to set up a game-tying field goal to tie the game at 3-3. On defence, the
Panthers made a couple of nice plays, but they couldn’t get off the field when they needed to, allowing the Colts to move the ball downfield on a big play to set up the field goal attempt.
On their following drive, the Panthers went three-and-out, thanks in part to a false start penalty by Trent
Scott, which set the team back (it was his second false start of the day). Joseph Charlton smacked a 50-
yard punt to give the defenders an excellent starting position.
On the next drive, the defence improved courtesy to a strip-sack by Marquis Haynes, who returned the ball to the offence deep inside the Colts territory.
With the score knotted at 3-3, the Panthers were able to execute one play before time expired in the quarter.
the second half
The Panthers started the second quarter in the red zone, but were unable to score and were forced to settle for another Joey Slye field goal.
With 14:47 left in the quarter, the Panthers took a 6-3 lead on a successful chip shot.
During the ensuing drive, the Panthers defence struggled a little on third down but tightened up as the
Colts crossed midfield and stuffed a fourth-and-1 try when Frankie Luvu sacked Jacob Eason for a 13-yard
loss, giving the Panthers defence a hard-earned turnover on downs.
On their opening play, the offence got a major gain when Walker connected with Marshall for an 18-yard gain.
After that massive gain,
the offence couldn’t string anything together and had to settle for another field goal, this time a 41-
yarder by Slye to extend Carolina’s lead to 9-3 with 8:07 left in the third quarter.
After Yet Gross-Matos’ sack for a 6-yard loss on the defence’s first play following Slye’s field goal, the
defence immediately gave up a big play on second down.
On the next set of downs, the defence stepped up and forced the Colts to punt from midfield.
With 5:07 left in the quarter, the punt was downed at the Carolina 10-yard line.
On third-and-1, Chuba Hubbard made his presence felt by bouncing off the line and picking up 59 yards,
giving the Panthers a good field position to try to score additional points before the half.
Walker connected with Shi Smith for a tremendous 26-yard gain, which was followed by a touchdown pass from Walker to Tremble.
The Panthers attempted two field goals, but a holding penalty on Tremble forced them to settle for the 43-yard extra point. With 1:56 left in the quarter, Slye’s effort was unsuccessful.