Cat Tracks at Washington

The coach is saying it, the players are saying it: this is the worst loss they've had so far. The Panthers totally dominated an inferior opponent only to let it get away over the last half-quarter.

QUARTERBACK

Today, Chris Weinke played like a rookie. He threw four interceptions, two inside the Washington 10 and three of them just plain ill-advised. He needs to learn to take the sack rather than try to force the ball in where there is no room. On the bright side, he did complete 24-35 passes and get the team into the red zone four times. CAT TRACKS: 1 PAW (OUT OF 4)

RUNNING BACK

Hey, they finally topped 100 yards...as a team. Tshimanga Biakabutuka feasted on Washington one more time to the tune of 121 yards and they looked like a real NFL team at times running the ball. CAT TRACKS: 3 PAWS

RECEIVERS

Once again, Weinke didn't look much to Muhsin Muhammad or Wesley Walls. He did find Donald Hayes 6 times and Isaac Byrd 5. For the most part, the receivers held onto the ball today. Unfortunately, there wasn't much attempt to go downfield after the early going. CAT TRACKS: 2 PAWS

OFFENSIVE LINE

First the good news, they opened enough holes for 100 yards rushing against a lousy run defense team. Now, the bad. Weinke was under constant pressure. Washington kept bringing the heat because the o-line did very little to cool it off. CAT TRACKS: 1 PAW

DEFENSIVE LINE

They got very little pressure on Tony Banks, when pressure appeared to be the way to go. This was a guy who showed very little ability to throw the ball, and the Panthers never gave him much to worry about. While Stephen Davis did not rush for 100 yards, he did get 99. CAT TRACKS: 1 PAW

LINEBACKERS

More bad news for this banged-up corps as Hannibal Navies went down for a few weeks with a broken arm. At times they stopped Davis before he got into the secondary and did a decent job preventing the underneath passes. CAT TRACKS: 2 PAWS

DEFENSIVE BACKS

They did an okay job containing the Redskins receivers for 3 1/2 quarters, and Doug Evans got an interception for the 5th straight game. But, when the momenteum turned in the fourth quarter, they were at the center of it. If you could find them. Somehow, Rod Garnder got so wide open that I could have scored. A total collapse by this unit in the closing stages when they needed them to step up and help protect the lead. CAT TRACKS: 1/2 PAW

SPECIAL TEAMS

I would have liked to see John Kasay get a chance to attempt two more extra points or, at least, field goals. My pre-season prediction that punter Todd Sauerbrun would be the Most Valuable Player is coming true. His average punt was nearly 56 yards. They also did a nice job containing former Panther Michael Bates on kick returns. CAT TRACKS: 3 PAWS

COACHING

Play-calling was not good. How many times are you going to throw a screen to the fullback before you think Washington might catch on? Once again, there were costly penalties at the worst times, and the clock management at the end of the first half left a lot to be desired. Bottom line, they couldn't hold a 14 point, 4th quarter lead against the worst team in the league and have now lost 5 straight. CAT TRACKS: 1 PAW


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