Don't expect rookie quarterback Jimmy Clausen to line up under center for the Carolina Panthers just yet, not unless team doctors advise against Moore playing. Matt Moore suffered a concussion after a hit by New York defensive end Osi Umenyiora.
Carolina head coach John Fox quickly told reporters Monday that if healthy Moore will get the start against Tampa Bay Sunday. Fox also defended what was a miserable performance by Moore, who repeatedly made erratic throws and questionable decisions during the 31-18 loss in New York.
"We didn’t execute well enough in the pass game,” Fox said. “I thought there were opportunities, but there are a lot of moving parts to the pass game. We had some issues in a lot of different areas, whether it was protection, routes or where we went with the ball. We’ve got to do a better job with that. We’ve got to do a better job coaching and executing it.”
Moore finished the game with a 32.6 passer rating against the Giants. He completed 14 of 33 passes for 182 yards, with 3 interceptions and 1 touchdown. Moore was also under relentless pressure for most of the game, getting hit numerous times and sacked 4 times.
Fox also explained why the run was so quickly abandoned in the second half, when the deficit was only two touchdowns. “I don’t know if everybody understands, but defenses can dictate that some,” Fox said. “It’s not all just that we want to throw. Sometimes the situation in a game, in a fourth quarter down 15 points, ripping off a 4-yard run is not really conducive to trying to win the game.”
Moore was instrumental in making something out of nothing at the end of the 2009 season. When the team's playoff hopes had dashed out early, Moore rallied the troops and finished a respectable 4-1 down the stretch, giving the Panthers a final record of 8-8.
However, in Moore's debut of the true starting QB in Carolina, he looked confused on the field for many snaps. The pressure in the second half the Giants put on Moore was also a part of the confusion.
2010 second round pick Jimmy Clausen remains the viable option at starting quarterback for a lot of Carolina Panther fans. However, other fans don't buy into the hype that this team can make a post season run with a rookie under center. Maybe we will get our chance to see Clausen's impact on the field sooner than expected. Just don't expect it to be this Sunday against the Bucs.