Strickly Panthers: QBs miss mark

CHARLOTTE – One week after helping the Panthers make a game of it against the reigning Super Bowl champions, rookie quarterback Jimmy Clausen didn't make it all the way through the game.

Clausen completed 9 of 22 passes for 61 yards with one interception before Matt Moore took over late in the fourth quarter of Sunday's loss to the Chicago Bears. Clausen also was sacked five times.

"We weren't exactly lighting it up, and I thought maybe he might spark us," head coach John Fox said of the change. "I don't know if I can put (the offensive struggles) on one position. The quarterbacks are getting some help."

Moore hit on 5 of 10 passes for 35 yards with two interceptions – one that bounded off wide receiver Armanti Edwards' thigh and the other on a desperation pass to the end zone in the waning seconds.

Fox said he wasn't ready to decide what to do at quarterback when the Panthers next play following the bye week.

"This soon after the game, I can't honestly answer that," he said. "We'll look at the tape and evaluate what broke down, and we'll go from there."

Clausen, in addition to the stats that resulted in a quarterback rating of 29.7, fumbled on a center exchange, on a handoff and on a sack. The Panthers recovered all three.

"I just didn't play as well as I expect to play," Clausen said. "Obviously you don't want to get pulled. You want to go out there and try to win the game. That was a coaches' decision, and I'm all for what the coaches decide."


EDWARDS MAKES DEBUT: Edwards made his debut after being inactive for the Panthers' first four games and first appeared at the position he's known for, lining up at quarterback for back-to-back snaps late in the first half.

When the Panthers took over at Chicago's 42-yard line following an Everette Brown interception, Edwards lined up in the "Mountaineer" -- the Appalachian State-inspired name for Carolina's version of the "Wildcat."

Both plays featured reverse action. On the first one, wide receiver Devin Funchess lost 6 yards on a run; on the second one, Edwards faked the reverse and dropped back to pass before scooting up the middle for a 7-yard gain.

"It felt good," Edwards said. "I've been waiting for a while to go out there and play."

Edwards did line up at his new position, wide receiver, a few times. On Moore's first snap at quarterback, Edwards hauled in what would have been a 20-yard gain but was ruled out of bounds. On the next play, Moore's pass ricocheted off Edwards' leg and resulted in an interception for linebacker Brian Urlacher.


A DASH OF PEPPERS: Former Panthers defensive end Julius Peppers made the play of the game at Clausen's expense, tipping one of his passes and then getting to his knees and diving for an interception.

"Yeah, quick screens to his side aren't recommended," said Fox, recalling a Peppers' pick for the Panthers last season at Arizona. "He made a great play. That's what great players do."

Peppers also recorded four tackles in his homecoming.

"I was here for 30 years, so of course I missed it a little bit," said Peppers, a North Carolina native. "I saw a lot of old faces. It wasn't awkward or anything. It was just another game, once it got started."

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