‘Gamers & Lamers’ in Panthers Vs. Colts Week 12 Game: A Fan’s Analysis

The Carolina Panthers had lost 12 straight road games before getting the ultimate cure to what ailed them on the road - the terrible Indianapolis Colts!

While the NFL post game shows cover the scoring plays, I look for the less visible but equally crucial plays that sustain drives, spring the big plays, or change momentum. Here is my analysis, as a Panthers fan, of these key plays, both good ("The Gamers") and bad ("The Lamers") that took place during Carolina's Week 12 road victory over the hapless Indianapolis Colts.

1st Quarter

8:35, Cam Newton, QB - Gamer. Score tied 0-0, Car ball on CAR 49. On 3rd-and-6 Cam Newton dropped back to pass and the pocket collapsed. Newton scrambled left, outrunning DE Dwight Freeney and cutting back against Jamaal Anderson, causing him to completely whiff on the tackle. Newton picked up seven yards and extended a drive that ended with a field goal.

2:56, Charles Godfrey, S - Gamer. Panthers lead 3-0, Ind ball on IND 45. On 3rd-and-5 Curtis Painter lined up in shotgun as Godfrey blitzed from Painter's left. Godfrey slipped the block from RB Joseph Addai and strip-sacked Painter. The Colts recovered the fumble, but were forced to punt deep within their own territory.

2nd Quarter

14:08, Greg Olsen, TE & Geoff Hangartner, RG - Gamers. Panthers lead 3-0, Car ball on IND 14. On 3rd-and-2 Cam Newton began in shotgun with TE Greg Olsen to his left. Newton ran a draw play to the left. Olsen sealed DB Joe Lefeged while Hangartner pulled from the right guard position and cleared out FS Antoine Bethea as DeAngelo Williams ran untouched for a 14-yard touchdown.

12:23, Captain Munnerlyn, CB - Lamer. Panthers lead 10-0, Ind ball on IND 41. Captain Munnerlyn had Reggie Wayne in man-to-man coverage as Wayne streaked down the left sideline. Curtis Painter's pass was behind Wayne who slowed down to adjust to the poor throw. Munnerlyn never looked back to the ball as he ran over Reggie Wayne, resulting in a 42-yard pass interference and setting up the Colts for a touchdown on the next play.

6:04, Kion Wilson, LB - Lamer. Panthers lead 10-7, Panthers punt return. Armanti Edwards found a seam on a 45-yard punt return to the Indianapolis 32. But special teamer Kion Wison was flagged for an illegal block in the back, pushing the Panthers all the way back to the Panthers 30. Instead of beginning the drive in field goal position, the Panthers gave up a sack and punted from their own 15.

:04, Brian Murphy, Special Teams Coord. - Lamer. Score tied 10-10, Car ball on Ind 27. The Panthers lined up for a field goal. The Colts stacked the left side of the Panthers line, leaving four Panthers to block seven Colts. Indy's Jamal Anderson slipped right through the line and blocked the punt. Murphy and the field goal unit should have seen the mismatch and adjusted.

3rd Quarter

9:20, Jordan Gross, LT and Jeremy Shockey, TE - Gamers. Score tied 10-10, Car ball on Ind 25. On 1st-and-10 DeAngelo Williams ran to the left as Jeremy Shockey shoved Kevin Thomas out of the play and Jordan Gross sealed DE Jerry Hughes, opening a gaping hole for Williams to scamper untouched for a 25-yard touchdown.

4:07, RJ Standford, CB - Lamer. Panthers lead 17-10, Ind ball on IND 47. On 2nd-and-2 Reggie Wayne simply sprinted past RJ Stanford down the left sideline. The aging Wayne only has marginal speed, but he dusted Stanford for a 40-yard gain, setting up a Colts field goal.

1:21, Chris Gamble, CB - Gamer. Panthers lead 17-10, Ind ball on CAR 7. On 3rd-and-4 the Colts were threatening to score. Pierre Garcon came in motion from right to left and Chris Gamble followed him in man coverage. Curtis Painted threw a quick pass behind the line of scrimmage to Garcon. Gamble read the play perfectly and was breaking on the ball before the pass was thrown. Garcon was dropped for a 6-yard loss and the Colts were forced to kick a field goal.

4th Quarter

11:12, Jeremy Shockey, TE - Gamer. Panthers lead 17-13, Car ball on Ind 26. TE Jeremy Shockey picked up 24 yards to get the Panthers to the Colts two yard line. On the next play Shockey made a great block on DE Jamal Anderson, opening a hole for DeAngelo Williams' second touchdown on the day.

8:30, Darius Butler, CB and Sherrod Martin, S - Lamers. Panthers lead 24-13, Ind ball on IND 44. On 3rd-and-9 Curtis Painter his Reggie Wayne for a short pass over the middle. Butler was covering Wayne and tried tackling him high and missed. Wayne sprinted toward the left sideline with S Sherrod Martin shadowing him for twenty yards before attempting a tackle. Wayne cut toward the middle as Martin gave one of the worst matador "Ole!" tackles in recorded history. Touchdown Colts.

8:07, Kealoha Pilaers, KR and Richie Brockle, TE - Gamers. Panthers lead 24-19, Panthers kick return. The Colts gained momentum with the Reggie Wayne score, but Richie Brockle provided a nice lead block to spring Kealoha Pilares for a 76-yard kickoff return, getting pushed out of bounds at the Colts 32. The Panthers went 3-and-out but converted a 41-yard field goal to take an eight-point lead.

1:21, Darius Butler, CB - Gamer. Panthers lead 27-19, Ind ball on CAR 15. Facing 4th-and-5 the Colts Austin Collie lined up in the right slot and came across the field, blowing past Captain Munnerlyn. Collie made the catch and seemed to have an open path to the end zone, but CB Darius Butler made a diving, touchdown-saving ankle tackle at the 3 yard line.

:40, Charles Godfrey, S & Sherrod Martin, S - Gamers. Panthers lead 27-19, Ind ball on CAR 3. With the game on the line Curtis Painter once again targeted Austin Collie, this time on a quick slant in the back of the end zone. Charles Godfrey blanketed Collie and broke up the pass, deflecting the ball into the air. Sherrod Martin made a beautiful interception on the deflection as he tip-toed the end line and secured the game-saving interception.

The Panthers improved to to 3-8 with their win over the Colts. Blocking from the offensive line and tight ends were outstanding as Cam Newton and DeAngelo Williams scored on untouched rushing touchdowns. The defensive secondary was capable of both ineptitude and excellence and needs to be more consistent if the Panthers are going to post a few more victories before the season comes to an end.

Andrew Sweat is a North Carolina resident and loyal Panthers fan. More from this author:

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Updated Tuesday, Nov 29, 2011