Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down
A quick summary of what went right, what went wrong and what went off the rails during Carolina's 34-31 loss at New Orleans.
THUMBS UP: The Panthers showed moxie, overcoming a lightning-fast 14-0 deficit to eventually tie the game 31-31 with 9:23 remaining.
THUMBS DOWN: Special teams continue to be an issue, and not just Joey Slye. Yes, Carolina's kicker missed two PATs as well as a 28-yard field goal that would've given Carolina its only lead with 1:56 remaining. But don't forget the punt Gaulden muffed in the first quarter that eventually turned into New Orleans' second touchdown of the game.
THUMBS UP: Kyle Allen looked like Kyle Allen 1.0, the version everyone became familiar with during Carolina's four-game win streak. Allen was 23 of 36 for 256 and three touchdowns and no turnovers. And the second-year quarterback didn't get shellshock as the Saints jumped out to their 14-0 lead or as time and chances evaporated in the fourth quarter.
THUMBS DOWN: NFL officiating continues to baffle if not infuriate. Exhibit 'A' -- New Orleans' Cam Jordan is called for a personal foul for trying to punch the ball loose while Kyle Allen is being sacked. He struck part of Allen and was flagged, but the question is this — if he's being flagged for throwing an intentional punch, shouldn't he be ejected?
THUMBS UP: Riverboat Ron Rivera challenged a defensive pass interference penalty that wasn't called — and won.
THUMBS DOWN: Offensive coordinator Norv Turner did a masterful job for much of the game, though playcalling near the goal line was impotent and questionable.
THUMBS UP: The defense coming through and making enough stops against a good offensive team to give the Panthers a chance. That includes a second-half interception that was Carolina's first forced turnover since Week 9
HE SAID IT: ""I’ve been in the same exact spot he was — last week. I just told him we’re going to need you down the line. I threw four picks last week."
— Carolina Panthers quarterback Kyle Allen on what he said to kicker Joey Slye.