Cat Tracks vs. San Francisco

<P>Just how much more frustration can one man take? Much less an entire team? Or a city? The sad thing is: take the last 1:52 out of regulation, and the Panthers played a pretty good game.

QUARTERBACK

Chris Weinke bounced back nicely after taking a week off with a shoulder injury. He threw two touchdown passes and no interceptions. He can't be held responsible for some questionable play-calling. CAT TRACKS: 3 PAWS (out of 4)

RUNNING BACKS

121 yards on the ground, but, 39 of those belonged to receiver Steve Smith. Richard Huntley had a touchdown catch and an 18 yard rumble. CAT TRACKS: 2 PAWS

RECEIVERS

Muhsin Muhammad had just one catch for 9 yards before leaving with a shoulder injury. Tight end Wesley Walls had just two catches, one for a touchdown. Not much to write home about. CAT TRACKS: 1 ½ PAWS

OFFENSIVE LINE

No sacks allowed after 70 games in a row with one. There were some decent holes for the running game. CAT TRACKS: 3 ½ PAWS

DEFENSIVE LINE

They gave up just 103 yards rushing after that humiliation last week in St. Louis. But, when they needed to get pressure on and make stops at the end of regulation and in overtime, they didn't. CAT TRACKS: 1 PAW

LINEBACKERS

Nothing here that really stands out, a fair game for the most part. But, they too must share in the responsibility of the failure to stop San Fran when they needed to at the end. CAT TRACKS: 1 PAW

DEFENSIVE BACKS

Doug Evans had another interception (the only problem with this stat is that none of them have come in a win). But, Rashard Anderson left the field with scorch marks on his back after getting burned repeatedly by Jeff Garcia. CAT TRACKS: ½ PAW

SPECIAL TEAMS

Once again, the strength of the team. Todd Sauerbrun didn't have a single punt returned. He had a 68-yard punt and four downed inside the 20. John Kasay had three field goals. CAT TRACKS: 3 ½ PAWS

COACHING

They had the team well-prepared, especially impressive considering what happened in St. Louis. But, there were, again, many questionable decisions, like the two-point conversion attempt, and a host of passes when they were ahead in the fourth and would have been better suited trying to run out the clock. Then, there were the defensive problems and the way they abandoned strategy in the closing minutes. This team doesn't believe they can win when they get into late game situations. That falls on the coaching staff. CAT TRACKS: 1 PAW


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