The Panthers talked all week about a better offenisve showing against the New York Jets. Instead, it seemed as if the team went backwards Saturday night as the team fell at home 9-3 in an effort that could be described in one word – ugly.
The QB play remained spotty at best, as Matt Moore was 6-for-17 for 57 yards with a pick, and he couldn’t advance the team enough for even an attempt at any point at the end zone.
Rookie QB Jimmy Clausen wasn’t much better, going 9-for-22 for 72 yards with a pick. Seven Panthers drives in the first half saw them go 3-and-out five times, gain 30 yards on 6 plays but have to punt on another, and their first drive ended with the interception by Moore after five plays and 34 yards.
The only Panthers points of the night came via a Jets gift, as rookie RB Joe McKnight fumbled on the 2nd play of the second half, and the Panthers recovered. With Clausen in the game, the team went 3-and-out, and John Kasay kicked a 42-yard field goal to make it 6-3 Jets.
The next Panther drive seemed to have some legs, as Clausen took the team from the Panthers 20 to the Jets 44 where the drive stalled as he was incomplete looking down the middle on a 3rd-and-2. Instead of going for it, John Fox chose to punt, and the team really only had one halfway decent drive the rest of the night.
That drive came with the Jets leading 9-3 with 3:28 left. Clausen remained at QB, taking the team from the Panthers 22 to the Jets 37. With the game on the line, he was picked off on 2nd down by right corner Drew Coleman, ending any shot the Panthers had to steal a win.
On a positive note, the defense stepped up and held New York to just three field goals on the night. New York had just 7 first downs (the Panthers had 9), and the D held New York to 112 total yards, including 16 passing as Mark Sanchez was held to 5-for-10 passing for 12 yards.
The two teams combined for 20 punts, and the Jets were 5-for-19 on third downs, while the Panthers were 6-for-18. The Panthers, who have scored 15 points in two preseason losses, will take on the Titans next Saturday night at home.