PASSING OFFENSE: A -- Jake Delhomme completed 16 of 26 passes for 290 yards, but saved his best for last, hitting Steve Smith with the game-winner in double overtime. As the game got tighter, Delhomme simply played better. He lost his poise once on the sidelines, but came back strong and played like a leader. He spent most of the overtime period under pressure, but still made some incredible throws under pressure. Steve Smith had six grabs for 163 yards and continues to show he's one of the top receivers in the league. Muhsin Muhammad continued his solid play, catching five passes for 70 yards, including a couple of big grabs in the overtime session.
RUSHING OFFENSE: A -- Even without Stephen Davis, the Panthers clicked all day in the running game, piling up 216 yards on 41 carries. Davis had 86 yards on six carries before injuring his quadriceps. DeShaun Foster filled in nicely, carrying 21 times for 95 yards. "I think he's best when he's on this type of surface," quarterback Jake Delhomme said of Foster. Nick Goings gave the Panthers a big contribution with a season-high six carries for 22 yards. Brad Hoover also scored on a 7-yard touchdown run.
PASS DEFENSE: A -- The Panthers intercepted Marc Bulger three times and continued to step up through all of the ups and downs of a crazy game. It's time for people to stop picking on Carolina's secondary because this unit really stepped up on Saturday with interceptions by Mike Minter, Deon Grant and Ricky Manning. Those three interceptions led to 14 points, including the game-winning touchdown in double overtime. Carolina only sacked Bulger twice, but pressured him most of the day.
RUSH DEFENSE: A-minus -- The Panthers did an excellent job of slowing down Marshall Faulk, holding him to 53 yards on 19 carries. As a team, the Rams had just 64 yards and that was the difference in the game. Credit linebacker Dan Morgan with an outstanding game as his job was to spy on Faulk. Carolina's defensive line lived up to its reputation on Saturday.
SPECIAL TEAMS: C -- Kicker John Kasay was 3-for-5 on field goal attempts with the two misses coming from 53 and 45 yards. Kasay had seemingly won the game in overtime with a 40-yarder, but the Panthers were called for a delay of game. The Panthers also lost a chance to seal the game in regulation when they allowed the Rams to recover an on-sides kick. Rod Smart was solid on kickoff returns.
COACHING: A-minus -- Once again Dan Henning called an outstanding game for the Panthers, as did defensive coordinator Mike Trgovac, who found a way to slow down the Rams' potent offense. John Fox made some good calls, even sending his offense back on to the field to try to pick up some more yards for Kasay prior to his kick in overtime.