LaFell says Panthers should have gone for it


Plenty of folks have questioned the decision of the Panthers to punt inside Atlanta territory with the game on the line.  Add Panthers receiver Brandon LaFell to the list.

“It’s fourth and inches, we’ve got Mike Tolbert, we’ve got Jonathan Stewart, some of the best power backs in the league,” LaFell told WFNZ, via  “I felt like we could have got that yard.  And I didn’t want to put our defense in that situation, because we should have won the game right there with that possession.”

They also have quarterback Cam Newton, who already owns the record for quarterback rushing touchdowns through two NFL seasons, even though he still has 12 games left in his second NFL season.

“I felt like it came down to the offense to win that game, and we should have won that game,” LaFell said. “And we just gave it away like that — it just hurts.  You just put a lot of work into something, and you just give it away.  Like, why?  So everybody was down in the locker room, but I feel like we come in tomorrow, we’re going to get back right.  But this is much harder to get over than the Giants loss.”

Yep, LaFell feels the same way many fans do.

“I’d rather get blown out than lose a game like that,” LaFell said.  “We just gave the game away.”

No matter what happens the rest of the way, the Panthers will have a hard time forgetting about the day that they acted in crunch time like they had something to lose.

30 responses to “LaFell says Panthers should have gone for it

  1. Always fun to have a Monday morning QB on the team. Tune in next week for LaFell’s report on what they should have done to beat the Seahawks.

  2. I was thinking at that time that they should go for it and let cam get a yard… it would have been a a bold decision by coach… if it flopped like it did for BB against manning (in 2009 i think) then everyone would be after him for not trusting his defense…
    still i thought better odds in getting first down then holding them off field goal..

  3. “I’d rather get blown out than lose a game like that,” LaFell said
    You must have been happy with the loss to the Giants then.

  4. What HE should have done was actually get a CATCH in that game.

    At any rate, I said even before the seemingly 10 minute delay between the fumble and the punt that Rivera should have gone for it. Playing not to lose gets you beat every time.

  5. If a scrub is speaking up on this screw up by the coach, what do you think is being said by the rest of the locker room?

    Like i said following that game, the inability by Rivera to feel the flow of that game and not go for a higher percentage play of picking up the first down as opposed to kicking back to Atlanta (who you hadn’t stopped all day) might be kthe beginning of the end when the locker room tunes him out for not seeing that.

  6. 4th an inches with the athleticism of Cam Newton behind the line, why not go for it? I bet the next time the team is in another 4th and short situation, they think about it twice before making their decision. I can say from experience, being in situations where I made the wrong decision and wished to god that I could just go back and have a redo, go with my gut. I guess thats just part of life, you learn from your mistakes…. most of the time.

  7. The Carolina Pouters.

    No team in the NFL whines more than the Panthers.

    Oh wait, I forgot about the Saints.

  8. dropping this turd from my fantasy team..was hoping he could provide some points at the flex spot. sounds like a big mouth for a guy whp produced squat.

    get open and shut your mouth.

  9. I don’t think that’s a statement he should be making in public. If that’s the way he felt he should leave it behind close doors. Now, I know this shouldn’t matter but I’m a Saints fan. And, I think it was last year Atlanta tried something like that in overtime and it caused them the game. I think you have a good team and they’re going to make the playoffs this year. But, the players should just shut up and play

  10. As a Panthers fan I wanted to go for it too but the issue is not with the call but that we had them on their 1 yard line with no timeouts left and our defense still let them score. Our d is a joke.

  11. that’s the dumbest thing i’ve ever heard. you’d rather get blown out than lose by a game winning fg? u should hate to lose period. plus the offense had it’s chance and failed to covert which is why it was 4 and 1 in the first place.

  12. If I’m Atlanta, and it’s 4th down, I’m thinking “please punt, please punt, we need the ball back now, please punt.” I doubt any defense wants them to go for it in that situation, because punting means you are guaranteeing them 1 more posession. So then, wouldn’t it make sense on some level that what’s best ofr the Panthers would be the opposit of what’s best for the Falcons? Me thinks so.

  13. I think statistically if they had a 40% chance or so chance of making it, it would have been the right choice to go for it.

    The only thing I don’t like is that on short yardage plays the result is often arbitrary. The refs view and replay is usually obstructed, leading to unpredictable results.

    Still I think you have to go with what gives you the best chance to win, even if it means the players on the field have less control over the result.

  14. and Josh Freeman from Tampa Bay says, “We should’ve have gone for it on 4th and 4 on the Washington 28. We have some of the best power backs in the NFL. Doug, LaGarrette and myself. I’d rather get blown out than lose a game like that.”

    Woe to the NFC South.

  15. I switched to that game near the end and was astonished they didn’t go for it. The reasons:

    1. The Panthers’ defense had a rough time stopping the Falcons all game. If the defense had been playing well up to that point it might have been a different story. But why would you expect a stop from them?

    2. They traded in the offseason for Mike Tolbert. The guy is a tank and is made for short-yardage situations.

    3. They have Cam Newton. Rushing machine.

    I don’t see how the Falcons had a realistic chance of defending a fourth-down play. They don’t know if it will be a handoff to Tolbert, a roll-out by Newton, or a simple pass. Pretty much everything but a deep bomb was in play.

  16. I personally think carolina made the right call. if they would have gotten stopped the falcons were sure to win. pinning them on the 1 yard line should have won the game for them. how about giving some credit to the falcons since they had to start from their own goal line.

  17. every body talks bought the last play i am more concerned with clock mismanagement before the half the last two weeks let see 1.30 on the clock 3 time out’s throw a pass up the middle do not call time out let time run off no point’s and if cam is two young to understand the time out the coach should be calling it letting time run of may prevented a field goal meaning that they would have needed a TD instead of a field goal to beat us these are unforgivable mistakes that are the coach’s responsibility not the players.

  18. What Cam needed to do but he is still a puppy was SEND the DEFENSE right back off the field , No way on this green earth you let a DEFENSE that was rank near at the bottom last season to come out and decide your faith, when you have power runners with a tough QB who can run too.

    i did say in another blog at the time this guy is not playing to win with less than a arm to get , and if i was the OWNER of that team he would be FIRED immediately after the game.I would have put in the assistant to coach the rest of the season with these words” we coach here to win”.

  19. As a head coach you need to think the opposing QB can’t complete a 60 yard bomb from his own end zone there. Gotta blame terrible defense even if the defenses isn’t that good. Carolina is toast. Maybe next year.

  20. Some say Coach made the right decision by punting and playing the averages that your defense could hold them. What about playing the averages on your 90 million backfield. What do you think the odds are that Cam fumbles 2 times in a row?
    Coaching staff needs to show some killer instinct and fast!

  21. A few points here:

    -Hindsight is 20/20
    -Us Atlanta fans know exactly how bad it can when you go for it on 4th down and don’t get it
    -Guys who don’t record a single stat in the game shouldn’t be allowed to talk

  22. I thought the punt was the right call. Esp b/c we pinned them at the one. Problem is, we got a white guy in the secondary who couldn’t cover his kid with a blanket. Seriously, all that guy does is back pedal, and you’re taught not to do that.

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