Earlier this morning, I saw a post on my old stomping grounds suggesting that the St. Louis Rams are looking to trade Torry Holt. As a Carolina Panthers fan, I immediately thought to myself, “Can we give them Dwayne Jarrett and call it a day?”
The Panthers’ 24-9 win over those Atlanta Dirty Birds, however, proved that we might not need much help at receiver after all. We’ve got Moose back. Muhsin Muhammad caught 8 passes for 147 yards and a touchdown, serving as Jake Delhomme’s top target and freeing up Steve Smith for a big day himself — 6 catches, 96 yards, 1 TD.
It was always Moose. Whenever Steve Smith was double-covered, Moose was there, just as he was today, making the catches needed to keep drives going. The Panthers spent years trying to replace him after he bolted for Chicago. Keyshawn Johnson couldn’t do it. Drew Carter and Keary Colbert couldn’t come close. Dwayne Jarrett probably won’t do it, either. If Carolina wants to get back to the playoffs, it has to be Moose at the #2 receiver spot to help them get there.
That said, the prospect of Torry Holt in a Panthers uniform — and let’s not forget that Holt has suggested this himself — is quite appealing. He’s got a few years left in the tank, and he could certainly add more power to the Panthers’ passing attack right away. On the other hand, you don’t bring in Torry Holt to be the third option in the passing game, and you don’t want to demote Moose, especially after a day like today.
Then again, it’s better than seeing Holt in a Falcons uniform, and after the sheer number of dropped passes Atlanta receivers had today, they have to be thinking about it. Let’s just hope Jacksonville steps in first or something.
Oh, and while I’m thinking about, I would like to invite Ed Hochuli to bite my crank. Early on in this game, Matt Ryan threw an interception to Richard Marshall that was returned for a touchdown, but Hochuli nullified the score by calling Julius Peppers for roughing the quarterback. He specifically said that Peppers was being flagged for helmet-to-helmet contact. Of course, the video replay showed that no such contact happened. Thanks so much for that, fartface.
I’d be angrier, of course, if the Falcons weren’t in rebuilding mode, or if the Panthers hadn’t made enough mistakes on their own to keep this game closer than it should have been. Still, it was a bad call. It was also a good win, as the Panthers are now 3-1 and face Kansas City at home next week. It does have all the makings of a trap game — Carolina faces Tampa Bay in two weeks — but don’t kid yourself about the Chiefs’ win today. Unlike Denver, Carolina has an actual defense, and it held Michael Turner to 56 yards on 18 carries.