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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wake Forest Demon Deacons Vs. Army Black Knights 9/22/12 Ryan's Free ... - Sports Chat Place

Wake Forest Demon Deacons Vs. Army Black Knights 9/22/12 Ryan’s Free College Football Pick Against the Spread

The Army Black Knights lost a tough game at home to Northern Illinois, 41-40, on Saturday. Army controlled the clock and gained 494 total yards against the Huskies. Army’s offense only had 8 yards passing on the day, as they earned 30 1st downs on the ground and converted 9 out of 17 3rd down conversions. Army’s RB Raymond Maples and RB Larry Dixon both went over 100 yards rushing and combined for four touchdowns in the game. Dixon’s three touchdown performance and 28 rush attempts were career highs for the sophomore. The game also marked Dixon’s first career 100-yard rushing game. Through the first two games of the season, Dixon is Army’s second leading rusher with 170 yards and leads the team with three rushing scores. The Black Knights defense allowed 515 total yards, 342 through the air and 173 on the ground. The Huskies were able to convert 8 of 9 times on 3rd down, but coughed the ball up three times. This is the fifth straight home opening defeat for Army as the Huskies made their first visit to Michie Stadium in 20 years. Army will go for its first win of the season on Saturday when it travels to Wake Forest.

Wake Forest was not only shut out by the Florida State Seminoles on Saturday, they were embarrassed and run right off the field. Wake Forest only gained 126 total yards, 83 passing and 43 rushing, along with only managing seven first downs. QB Tanner Price completed 8 of 22 passes for 82 yards and was sacked three times, while his favorite target, WR Michael Campanaro, had two catches for 8 yards. Campanaro had caught 22 passes in the Demon Deacons first two games, but was dominated by the Seminoles secondary. Price, who threw for a career high 327 yards last week against UNC, spent the afternoon running for his life and trying to stay upright. The Demon Deacons were forced to start their first five possessions at their own 20, and started at the 5 yard line twice. The Seminoles had 357 of their 612 total yards on offense by halftime. Wake Forest allowed 385 yards on the ground and 27 first downs in the game. Wake Forest has been shut out by the Seminoles 6 times and this is the third time the Demon Deacons have been beaten by more than 50 points to the Seminoles.

Wake Forest is 3-4 ATS in their last 7 games as a favorite, 5-5 ATS in their last 10 non-conference games, and 4-6 ATS in their last 10 games in September. Army is 5-7 ATS in their last 12 road games, 6-7 ATS in their last 13 games as an underdog of 3.5 to 10 points, and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games after 2 or more consecutive straight up losses.

Army was blown out by San Diego St on the road in their opening game and then lost at home to Northern Illinois. Wake Forest beat UNC at home in a close game and then went to Florida State and were embarrassed. I think as far as talent Wake Forest has the edge and with home field advantage on their side the Demon Deacons should win this game. I will lay the points and side with the home team, but this will not be a game I will be personally betting on.

Panthers' Top 5 Early Season Storylines - Bleacher Report

Luke Kuechly (59) has been caught out of position several times in the first two games of the season.
Luke Kuechly (59) has been caught out of position several times in the first two games of the season.
Bob Donnan-US PRESSWIRE

After all the hype surrounding Panthers rookies Luke Kuechly (LB), Josh Norman (CB) and Joe Adams (WR/PR/KR) following the preseason, their regular-season performances have been underwhelming.

Kuechly, who averaged about 15 tackles per game at Boston College and was on pace to shatter the NCAA’s career tackles record if he’d stayed for his senior season, has just nine total stops in his first two NFL games.

Many analysts expected Kuechly to contend for the NFL’s defensive Rookie of the Year award following his preseason performance, and he still might once he settles down and adjusts to the speed of the regular season.

But early on, Kuechly has been prone to overrunning plays and finding himself out of position in an apparent attempt to make every tackle instead of being more patient and protecting his part of the field.

Josh Norman has played solidly in his first two games, but his 12 tackles and zero passes defensed are also the result of the rookie cornerback being caught out of position on several occasions so far this season.

Norman was expected to struggle early this season after jumping up from Division-I FCS (I-AA) competition at Coastal Carolina, but he is a big, strong and athletic player who will continue to improve throughout the season.

Return man Joe Adamsâ€"last season’s NCAA leader with four punt returns for touchdownsâ€"has upgraded the Panthers’ punt return position since beating out Armanti Edwards for the job, and his 21-yard return against Tampa Bay was longer than any of Edwards’ returns in 2011.

However, he has averaged just 7.0 yards per return on his other three attempts (4 returns for 42 yards in the first two games) so far this season.

Carolina needs Adams, who has also taken over Kealoha Pilares’ kick-return duties, to be a field-position changer on special teams.

Through the first two Panthers games, he has not yet lived up to his hype.

On a side note, rookie defensive lineman Frank Alexander has already batted down three passes at the line of scrimmage in the first two games and Carolina’s rookie punter, Brad Nortman, has placed four of his first 10 punts inside the opponents’ 20-yard line.

Jimmy Grappone is a Featured Columnist covering the Carolina Panthers and the NFL on BleacherReport.com.

You can follow me on Twitter @jimmygrappone and be sure to check out my archives for more Panthers articles.

Recent articles by Jimmy Grappone:

Panthers Get Tough in Win Over Saints

5 Questions Left Unanswered After Week 1

Live Blog: Panthers vs Buccaneers

Grading the Panthers' 53-Man Roster

Why the Panthers Can Win the NFC South

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Carolina Panthers In-Depth Rewind: Week 2 Vs. Saints – Fan's Analysis - Yahoo! Sports

As a Panthers fan I pop in an old-school VHS tape - yes, tape! - and record every Carolina game to look for the "hidden plays" (tip of the cap to Gregg Easterbrook) that have a big impact on the outcome. Here is what I saw in my Week 2 VCR rewind as the Panthers beat the New Orleans Saints 35-27.

First Quarter

5:41 - Saints lead 7-0, Saints 2nd-and-8 on NO 9. Charles Godfrey's pick six of Drew Brees tied the game early at 7-7, swinging momentum to the Panthers.

1:20 - Saints lead 10-7, Panthers 1st-and-10 on CAR 20. Cam Newton took off for a 40-yard run on an option play as Greg Olsen and Brandon LaFell executed great blocks on the edge to open the hole, flipping field position in favor of Carolina.

Second Quarter

11:53 - Saints lead 10-7, Panthers 4th-and-1 on NO 4. The Panthers went for it on fourth down by running an option play to the left. Amini Silatolu was pushed into the backfield by Will Smith, collapsing Cam Newton's lane and killing the unsuccessful fourth down attempt.

5:24 - Saints lead 13-7, Panthers 3rd-and-15 on CAR 33. Cam Newton lined up in shotgun as LB Jonathan Casillas came cleanly through the line on a blitz. Mike Tolbert delivered a perfect block on Casillas, giving Newton the time he needed to hit Steve Smith for a 35 yard gain for a first down.

3:41 - Saints lead 13-7, Panthers 1st-and-10 on NO 17. Jonathan Stewart walked untouched into the end zone on a screen pass as Steve Smith and Ryan Kalil delivered great downfield blocks. The Panthers now led 14-10.

2:49 - Panthers lead 14-13, Saints 3rd-and-6 on NO 24. With the first half winding down, Dwan Edwards and Antwan Applewhite applied pressure to Drew Brees, forcing him to scramble and throw the ball away. The Saints punted and the Panthers received the ball back with enough time for another touchdown before the end of the half.

2:31 - Panthers lead 14-13, Panthers 1st-and-10 on CAR 42. Rob Chudzinski designed a beautiful misdirection play. Carolina sent motion left and Cam Newton faked a screen pass to his left. Newton pump faked with an empty right hand and handed off the ball with his left hand - behind his back - to Brandon LaFell, going right. LaFell ran for 25 yards, setting up the Panthers for a late touchdown and a 21-13 halftime lead.

Third Quarter

9:36 - Panthers lead 21-13, Panthers 1st-and-10 on NO 44. DeAngelo Williams gained 27 yards as Amini Silatolu pulled left and became a one-man convoy for Williams. Silatolu blocked Malcolm Jenkins 15 yards downfield and drove him back 10 more yards. Anytime a lineman is delivering a block 25 yards downfield, he deserves to get recognized. The drive ended with a Panthers touchdown, extending the lead to 28-13.

5:08 - Panthers lead 28-13, Saints 3rd-and-5 on CAR 28. The Saints were in field goal range as Drew Brees dropped back to pass on third down. Greg Hardy forced an intentional grounding 10-yard penalty by immediately getting Brees in his grasp. The penalty pushed the Saints out of field goal range and forced them to punt. Hardy most likely saved the Panthers three points on this play.

Fourth Quarter

15:00 - Panthers lead 28-13, Saints 3rd-and-6 on NO 48. Josh Norman was matched up in man coverage on Marques Colston. Norman fell down in coverage reacting to a Colston cut, allowing Colston to pull down a wide open 29-yard gain. This gave the Saints a first down, extending a drive that ended with a New Orleans touchdown.

9:13 - Panthers lead 35-20, Saints 1st-and-10 on NO 22. Pierre Thomas ran through a gaping hole into the second level of the Panthers' defense. Josh Norman took a poor angle and overran the play, clearing a path for Thomas to pick up 48 yards on the run.

7:24 - Panthers lead 35-20, Saints 3rd-and-4 on CAR 24. The 6'1" Chris Gamble lined up in man coverage on the 6'7" Jimmy Graham. Gamble swatted away a pass to Graham in the end zone, forcing a fourth down.

7:19 - Panthers lead 35-20, Saints 4th-and-4 on CAR 24. Drew Brees took a shotgun snap as Charles Johnson rushed from his right. Johnson stripped Brees of the ball, ending the Saints' drive with no points.

1:53 - Panthers lead 35-27, Saints Kickoff. New Orleans attempted an onside kick to try to get one final possession. Greg Olsen slid and caught the onside kick, giving the Panthers possession and ultimately forcing the Saints to burn all of their remaining timeouts.

:31 - Panthers lead 35-27, Saints 2nd-and-1 on NO 29. Jon Beason dropped into coverage and undercut Jimmy Graham's route over the middle. Beason picked off Drew Brees' pass to end the game, giving the Panthers the win and a 1-1 record early in the season.

Andrew Sweat is a die-hard Lakers fan. For more from this author, visit Andrew's archive or check these out articles:

Panthers Week 1: Is the Season Already Doomed?

Slowing Down the Greg Olsen Hype Machine

Remembering Cam Newton's Terrible Rookie Pre-Season

Tom Sorensen: Carolina Panthers' running backs worth every penny - Kansas City Star

By TOM SORENSEN

The Charlotte Observer

The Charlotte Observer

Updated: 2012-09-19T00:59:53Z

The Carolina Panthers have invested $89 million on tailbacks DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart and fullback Mike Tolbert.

I ask coach Ron Rivera if their work in Carolina's 35-27 victory Sunday against New Orleans is the reason for that investment.He says it is."That's what we have the ability to do, and we've just got to continue to refine it, continue to use our weapons and use them smartly," Rivera said Monday.I like trick plays and options, the 6-foot-5 quarterback running 40 yards through the line and down the sideline. Quarterback Cam Newton would add 31 rushing yards to his 40-yard run Sunday and lead the Panthers with 71 yards on the ground.I love Newton's long passes to Steve Smith. As the ball moves downfield fans move forward in their seats the way they do at the ballpark when a hitter goes deep.But there's something reassuring about the work of the backs against New Orleans. Williams averaged 4.9 yards a carry and Stewart 4.6. Fullback/tailback/H-back Mike Tolbert grabbed a short pass, adeptly changed directions and picked up 20 yards.I'd love to train my binoculars on Tolbert for a game. He picks up the blitz, slips out for passes and, after his 3-yard touchdown run Sunday, danced a dance that looked like something previously unknown to mankind."With Tolbert you get the power guy, that rumbler," Rivera says. "But he has enough quickness to get outside when he needs to ... He's also really good at protection, really good out of the backfield at receiver."Tolbert, 26, is a bargain; he signed a four-year, $10 million contract in March, with $4.2 million guaranteed.Williams signed a five-year, $43 million contract in 2011; $21 million is guaranteed.Stewart signed a five-year, $36 million extension last month, with $23 million guaranteed.I think I would have paid Williams and Stewart what the Panthers did. And I apologize for writing the previous sentence. In sports, you're supposed to know. It was good or bad, right or wrong, and if you disagree you're a moron.For the $36 million the Panthers paid Stewart they could have signed a tremendous pass-rusher, cover corner, wide receiver or offensive lineman.But the expense attests to a philosophy. Reward the draft picks who perform.Williams and Stewart prolong each other's careers. They take turns and don't complain because they aren't the featured back. They're DeJonathan, and when they're effective so is their team.Williams is 29 years old, Stewart 25.Williams carried 14 times Sunday, Stewart 11.Williams didn't catch a pass. Stewart caught one for 17 yards.Williams generated 69 yards, Stewart 68.The Panthers will play the New York Giants on Thursday. How do the Panthers negate New York's pass rush, which has only four sacks this season but is among the league's best?Get the ball to the backs."You look at what Jonathan brings to us (and) that's an inside presence between the tackles," says Rivera. Run inside, and the defense has "to tighten up a little bit. They've got to try and play those inside gaps a little more, and now you get the edges a little bit easier."When Williams is effective outside, the defense has to spread out, which creates openings inside. Both backs, of course, can go inside and out.Carolina goes as Newton goes. If he's off, the Panthers struggle.But here's a statistic worth considering.The Panthers have won seven games the past two seasons. They've rushed for more yards than their opponents in six of them.

Better Know the Enemy: Carolina Panthers - NBC New York

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Every week during the season, we’ll scout out the Giants' next opponent. This week, that opponent is the Carolina Panthers.

You could work in practice for three months to come up with ways to stop Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, and still fall short of coming up with a practical solution to the problems he presents on the football field.

So what are the Giants going to do with just three days? That's all the time they get before they have to be in Charlotte to square off against as unique a player as there is in the NFL right now. 

There are other quarterbacks with big arms that are capable of making any throw in any playbook at any time, but none of them can make plays with their feet as well as Newton. And none have the same mix of size and arm strength that Newton does. 

It's going to be a workout for the Giants defense, in other words, and it will be made all the more difficult by the fact that they've never seen Newton up close and personal before. The entire defense will need to be disciplined on every play or Newton will exploit each opening provided by a missed assignment or missed communication between two or more players. 

If they can't stay on their game, we'll probably be looking at another shootout and there may not be anyone in the NFL with more weapons than Newton. Here's the rest of the Panthers you need to know about ahead of Thursday night's game. 

Steve Smith - No, not that Steve Smith. The other Steve Smith, the one that beat the Giants almost singlehandedly back in the 2005 playoffs and hasn't lost much of anything from his game in the intervening years. If the Giants secondary hasn't figured out how to defend a slant since the opener, Smith should have a big day. 

Jonathan Stewart/DeAngelo Williams/Mike Tolbert - Few teams in the NFL have devoted as much money to the running back position as the Panthers, likely because few teams have three guys who could play leading roles in good backfields. It only makes it more difficult to stop Newton when the defense also has to account for guys able to grind out yards in a more traditional manner. 

Transition Defense - The Panthers defense was frightful last year, but it's shown some improvement early this season because of the changes at the linebacker spot. Jon Beason is back from injury, and Luke Kuechly has been making good on the promise that made him a first-round pick out of Boston College this April.

Thomas Davis - Terrell Thomas needs another surgery on his ACL, which means Davis should serve as his inspiration for his rehab. Davis is believed to be the first player to make it back from three torn ACLs in the same knee and he's another reason why the Panthers defense has started back on the road to respectability. 

Josh Alper is also a writer for Pro Football Talk. You can follow him on Twitter.

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Giants' pass rush missing in action - ESPN

Commentary

Tuck, Umenyiora and Pierre-Paul must step up versus Carolina and Cam Newton

Updated: September 18, 2012, 8:39 PM ET

By Johnette Howard | ESPNNewYork.com

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- They spoke about starting this season as devastatingly effective as they ended last season -- back when the three of them were finally healthy, just in time, and they became the most awesome thing about the Giants' startling Super Bowl run besides Eli Manning. But now, with two weeks already gone in this new NFL season and elusive Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton looming next on Thursday, the Giants' defense is stuck asking itself the last question it expected to have to confront: Where in the world has their pass rush been?

Or, even more specifically than that, how much longer is their Pro Bowl defensive-end threesome of Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora and Jason Pierre-Paul going to be held in check?

[+] EnlargeJustin Tuck

AP Photo/Evan PinkusJustin Tuck is still looking for his first sack of the season.

"It usually doesn't favor us when that sort of thing happens," Giants coach Tom Coughlin allowed before the trio registered just one sack Sunday against Tampa Bay. "Whoever gets the sacks or pressures, I don't really care. But we need it. We need more of it."

Tuck, Umenyiora and Pierre-Paul are acutely aware they've accounted for just one of the Giants' pedestrian team total of four sacks thus far.

The fact that two teams have now skunked the three of them -- against Dallas, the defensive ends didn't even register a single hit on Tony Romo -- is the biggest surprise of the Giants' season so far.

It's also their most worrisome concern, given the short week they have to prepare for Newton.

Newton makes plays on the run even better than Romo does. And, at 6-foot-5 and 250 pounds, he can stand in the pocket better than Tampa Bay's Josh Freeman did last week while touching up the Giants' defense for 27 points (not counting Eric Wright's 60-yard interception return for yet another Bucs score).

Tuck, Umenyiora and Pierre-Paul have all been frank about what's prevented them from being more effective so far. And not all of it is, as Tuck said Tuesday, "Our reputation is hurting us." Opponents have so much respect for the Giants' pass rush, they're getting the ball out quickly against them with three-step or five-step drops. They're even throwing double- and even triple-teams at them in certain situations. "Camping out" extra blockers, Tuck calls it. "And I guess it's a compliment."

Which is true enough. But none of that is new.

Nor is the sight of opponents trying to establish the run early on, to give the Giants' line something else to worry about. "It does take some sting out of your pass rush," Tuck said.

But there's more to it than that, too.

Against Dallas, the Giants' defensive ends later admitted, they strayed from the plan to keep Romo in the pocket. They too frequently succumbed to frustration and went for what Pierre-Paul has called "home run" plays instead. Too often that meant the Giants' ends rushed inside when they were supposed to stay outside, and then they couldn't prevent Romo from scrambling to his left or right and extending plays. Nor did they adjust well enough, even when Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell kept highlighting the problem during the game.

Fewell, talking later about what happens in the heat of the moment, said, "They come out, they want to make a play, they want to make an impact on the game, they think that they see something that they've seen on film or what have you, and they go for it. [But] they might not make the right decision on those things, that's what happens. And when you try to correct them and tell them on the sideline, sometimes they have something cemented in their mind that they just can't get out."

Tuck said Tuesday that the Giants' defensive line did a better job of staying disciplined against Tampa Bay and "letting the game come to us."

So then why didn't more sacks come against the Bucs?

"I'll just say this: Go back and watch the Tampa Bay game," Tuck said.

Then he fell silent.

Was there more holding? Was it the replacement officials?

Tuck initially said he didn't want to be drawn into either discussion -- "Us as athletes are always figuring out a way to cry and whine about something," he said. Then he eventually relented with a long, calm, but opinionated critique that included this: "I'm not necessarily mad at the replacement officials. I'm more upset with the NFL for not handling this and taking care of this in due time, I guess. ... I think the replacement referee situation is starting to put a damper on the league."

So he did think there was a lot of holding going on.

"Hmm," Tuck said, clamping his mouth shut. Then he laughed a little.

A lot more holding?

"Hmmmmm," he repeated, drawing out the word a little longer now.

"How many 'm's' is that?" Tuck was asked, kiddingly.

"You could add a lot of 'm's'" he said, rolling his eyes.

Tuck knows nobody wants to hear excuses. He and Fewell also know that the danger of the Giants' defensive linemen abandoning their assignments will be even greater against Newton -- because Newton runs a lot of read-option plays, where he can run the ball himself or pitch the ball, or pass.

During their two Super Bowl runs especially, the Giants' best antidote against other great quarterbacks hasn't been just Manning -- it's been getting after them with Tuck, Umenyiora and Pierre-Paul (and Michael Strahan before him), making other quarterbacks' lives miserable. The domino effect on the entire Giants team when they have a great pass rush, and when they don't, is glaring. They've given up 29 points a game so far this season, which is far more than they'd like. When they have a devastating pass rush, it helps the Giants' suspect secondary look better than it is. It helps the Giants' defense get off the field on third down. It allows Fewell to keep more players back in coverage, rather than dialing up blitzes. The list goes on and on.

"There's a lot of pressure on us," Tuck said. "But we like it that way."

The pressure doesn't get any less against Newton.

"He's a phenomenal athlete. ... We have to get our motors running," Giants safety Antrel Rolle said. "It's going to be a long game. A long 60 minutes."

The Giants' defensive ends are already a long 120 minutes into the season, with just one sack to their credit.

Biggest shock of their season. Bar none.

Johnette Howard | email

ESPNNewYork.com

Breaking Down Panthers' Week 2 Game Tape - Bleacher Report

The Carolina Panthers picked up a huge win this past Sunday against the division-nemesis Saints.  While the final score of 35-27 looks fairly close, the Panthers played well and dominated the Saints from the second quarter until the final whistle.

The offensive line that played horribly in the season opener at Tampa Bay turned it around and not only gave Cam Newton time to throw but also opened up running lanes for the team's esteemed running backs.

Brandon LaFell had a great game, reeling in six catches for 90 yards.  He has definitely solidified himself as the No. 2 wide receiver on this team. 

Hi-res-152092778_crop_exactGodfrey's pick six enabled the Panthers to get back into the game
Grant Halverson/Getty Images

The defense had its share of great plays as well.  A couple of key turnovers were instrumental in the Panthers' victory, one of which served as a momentum-changer early in the game.

When the Panthers' first offensive series stalled after the Saints opened the game with a touchdown series, the feeling among the fans was that this would be a long day.  However, after a great punt by Brad Nortman pinned New Orleans deep in their own territory, the stage was set for a change in momentum.

The defensive line played very well, and the pressure from defensive end Charles Johnson forced Drew Brees to make an uncharacteristically bad throw, which was intercepted by Charles Godfrey, who returned it easily from nine yards out to get the score. 

This would not only make the game a 7-7 affair, but it breathed new life into the team and rejuvenated the fans at the stadium.

Stewarttd_crop_exactStewart made this score look easy

Then the offense started to get its act together and began to play like the team everyone expected them to be entering the season.

Jonathan Stewart was sorely missed in Week 1.  His production and especially his 17-yard touchdown reception proved why against the Saints.

Stewart comes out of the backfield on a play action and looks to block for Newton.  He finds himself open at the line of scrimmage, and Newton dumps a pass off to him that he takes up the left sideline for the touchdown.

This is just a shining example of why the Panthers re-signed him.  He has a knack for not only running the football but can be a receiving threat out of the backfield, too. 

While Steve Smith made the play and picked up the yards, it should be noted that he was wide open.  This was due to the fact that the Saints had committed double-coverage to Brandon LaFell, who was picking up where he left off last week.

Because of the added coverage on LaFell, there was no one around to cover Smith, who probably wasn't that wide open since he became a full-fledged starter over a decade ago.  That being said, LaFell is the real deal and should be instrumental in the offense's success down the road.

Back to the play at hand.

Smith's reception was not only amazing in terms of how open he was but also due to the fact that he was injured and carted off the field in the previous quarter.  His catch and gain of 66 yards allowed the Panthers to get deep into Saints territory and set up Cam Newton's touchdown run at the goal line.

Hi-res-6585234_crop_exactSmith was wide open due to the double team on LaFell
Jeremy Brevard-US PRESSWIRE

Greg Hardy was noticeably absent in his performance during the preseason and in Week 1 at Tampa Bay.  However, he did his part to help restore a pass rush to Carolina's defensive front.

During the third quarter, he was able to get heavy pressure on Drew Brees, and despite not getting the sack, he was able to make Brees throw the ball to the turf, which netted the Saints an intentional-grounding penalty.

Hardy recorded only four tackles and the Panthers defense only came away with one sack, but Brees was harassed throughout much of the game, with this play showing exactly what this defensive unit felt they were capable of doing when the season opened up.

Jon Beason's absence during last season was felt terribly, and it showed.  There were some concerns when the preseason opened due to him being held out of games because of an injury.  However, his return has seemingly put any reservations to rest, and he cemented that notion on the Panthers' final defensive series.

The Saints got the ball back with 48 seconds left to go in the game.  After Brees completed a nine-yard pass to Jimmy Graham, he tried going back to him on the next play only to have Beason step in front of it and make the pick.

While Beason may have been able to return the interception for a score, he made the smart move and went to the ground so the Carolina offense could just take a knee to end the game. 

Hi-res-152092903_crop_exactBeason's interception helped the Panthers drop the Saints to 0-2
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

There is no doubt the Panthers had many playmakers and key moments that earned them the victory in this game, but Beason's interception ensured the highly potent New Orleans offense were not given another chance to move the ball.