Matt Moore vs. Jimmy Clausen: Carolina Panthers' Preseason QB Battle
The Case: Matt Moore versus Jimmy Clausen
Matt Moore was handed the reins to Carolina’s offense after Jake Delhomme’s long, downward spiral finally came to an end last season. It became very evident to everyone around the NFL, including the Panthers’ brass that it was time to get a glimpse of the future, which comes in the form of Matt Moore.
He led the Panthers to a four and one record in the final five games of the season, and looked surprisingly poised while running the offense. Moore wound up with a very solid QB rating of 98.5, eight touchdowns to two interceptions and a completion percentage of 61.6.
While it is true that this is a rather small sample size, Moore still managed to end up with a higher QB rating than a few big-name QB’s you may have heard of (Tony Romo, Tom Brady, Kurt Warner, Eli Manning and Donovan McNabb).
When draft day rolled around and Jimmy Clausen was passed over by every team (some twice), Carolina could not resist. The Panthers snagged him in the second round with the 16th pick. His selection seemed to signal the eventual end of the Matt Moore era in Carolina without even as much as a full season to prove himself.
Clausen comes to Carolina as a polished player who had experience in a pro-style offensive scheme under Coach Charlie Weis at Notre Dame. In almost three full seasons as a starter, Clausen threw for 8,148 yards and 60 TD (3,722 yards, 28 TD and 161.43 rating in ’09). He was the third rated passer in D-1 football behind Tim Tebow and Kellen Moore.
It appears as though Carolina will get Clausen as much playing time as possible in the preseason. In the first preseason game, Clausen went 8-15 for 80 yards with an INT while Moore was in for only three possessions. Both Clausen and Moore had problems with protection and penalties by the offensive line so it was tough to gauge either QB’s performance.
While they are not in a huge rush to get him under center for the regular season, it’s become apparent that Clausen is the QB of the future in Carolina. Moore is viewed more as a stopgap player who will keep the starting QB spot warm for Clausen, who has a higher ceiling than Moore. Once Moore starts to stumble or Carolina falls out of playoff contention, Clausen is sure to get the call later this season and should be ready to fly for 2011.
Written by Rosti Satanovsky exclusively for TheFantasyFix.com. You can follow him on Facebook or Twitter@TheSportsFariah
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