Panthers Tipped Off Key Play
PHILADELPHIA--The Carolina Panthers inadvertently gave away their play call at the key moment of Monday night's loss in Philadelphia.
The Panthers were trailing the Eagles, 27-24, but had a first down at the Philadelphia 7-yard line with 28 seconds to play. Quarterback Jake Delhomme looked to his right and saw 6-foot-4 wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson being covered by Lito Sheppard, the Eagles' 5-foot-10 cornerback. Delhomme signaled Johnson to run a fade pattern by touching his back side, and he wanted to throw a high lob that Johnson could catch above Sheppard.
But the Eagles had noticed while studying Panthers' tapes last week that Delhomme touching his back side like that was the signal for a fade pattern.
"I saw the signal for the fade," Sheppard said after the game, "so I stayed to the outside and he overthrew it."
Sheppard stayed behind Johnson and got good position close to the sideline. Delhomme's pass sailed over Johnson's head and was intercepted by Sheppard in the end zone to seal the outcome.
Johnson complained to an official that Sheppard had illegally bumped him but didn't get the call. If Delhomme's pass hadn't carried quite so far, Johnson probably still would have made the catch even with Sheppard knowing what was coming.
"If it was six inches shorter, it would have had a different outcome," Panthers Coach John Fox said.
Please email us to report offensive comments.
The comments to this entry are closed.