Panthers
Rams
27 - 13 Final
  for this game

Smith torches Rams as Panthers pull away for win

Sep 9, 2007 - 11:01 PM By Chip Solotar PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

ST. LOUIS (Ticker) -- Steve Smith felt right at home Sunday against the St. Louis Rams.

Smith had a 68-yard touchdown catch and Drew Carter added a pair of receiving scores as the Carolina Panthers defeated the Rams, 27-13, on Sunday.

The last time the Panthers played here was in the 2003 NFC divisional playoffs, a game in which Smith scored on a 69-yard touchdown in overtime to give Carolina a 29-23 victory.

On Sunday, Smith gave the Panthers a 14-13 lead midway through the third quarter when he beat Rams cornerback Tye Hill in one-on-one coverage down the left sideline for the 68-yard score.

"I make plays," Smith said. "That's what I'm here to do."

"We finally got a one-on-one opportunity," quarterback Jake Delhomme said. "I knew (Smith) was a go route. I just wanted to get a good fake and throw it as far as I could. Obviously he can do the rest."

Smith said during the mid-week conference call with the St. Louis media that he felt disrespected by Hill in last season's game against the Rams. Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams had overheard Hill saying he shut down the Pro Bowl receiver in Carolina's 15-0 win.

Smith clearly was not shut down in this one, finishing with 118 yards on seven receptions.

"I'm not going to stoop to that level," Smith said when asked about Hill. "All I'm going to do is congratulate my adversaries and my teammates. That's all I need to do. People that talk really don't have much to talk about."

"(Smith) is a playmaker," Rams defensive end Leonard Little said. "He doesn't need anyone to say anything about him to be fueled. He's one of the best receivers in the league."

Delhomme looked sharp on the Panthers' opening drive, completing all six of his passes for 35 yards to orchestrate a nine-play, 78-yard march. Delhomme threw a 10-yard touchdown strike over the middle to Carter to cap the drive.

"(The opening drive) was scripted," Delhomme said. "It goes back to guys knowing what is going to happen. We felt very good about we were doing. We dinked and dunked a little bit and took what (St. Louis) gave us."

The Rams answered with a 15-play, 67-yard drive that resulted with Marc Bulger flipping a 3-yard pass to Torry Holt to tie the score, 7-7.

St. Louis' Jeff Wilkins drilled a 42-yard field goal to make it 10-7 three seconds before halftime and chipped in a 28-yarder two minutes into the third quarter to give the Rams a six-point cushion.

"For 2 1/2 quarters, we were in fairly good position," Rams coach Scott Linehan said.

But the Panthers tallied 20 unanswered points to end the contest, starting with Smith's 68-yard score and ending with John Kasay's 32-yard field goal with 1:08 remaining.

Delhomme hooked up with Carter for another score - this one for 9 yards - in the fourth quarter and finished 18-of-27 for 201 yards and three TDs.

"It's a little bit of a new system for (Delhomme)," Panthers coach John Fox said. "It puts a lot more on his shoulders. He probably had a couple he would have liked back, but all in all I thought he executed well."

"Obviously, (Smith) is the guy," said Carter, who finished with three catches for 19 yards. "That's how it's going to be, but I just want to try to come in and help out the team as much as I can."

DeShaun Foster and Williams joined forces to form a potent rushing attack for the Panthers, combining for 156 yards on the ground.

"You get the opportunity to choose your own hole in this particular offense," said Williams, who had 62 yards on 15 carries. "We have the offensive linemen to do it. They opened up gaping holes, and you can't do anything but run through them."

Bulger struggled in this one, completing 22-of-42 passes for just 167 yards. His favorite target was Holt, who hauled in eight receptions for 73 yards.

"We got our (tails) kicked, and it doesn't feel good," Bulger said. "We can make all the excuses in the world, but we just didn't play good today."

The Rams (0-1) received an awful performance from star running back Steven Jackson, who ran for just 58 yards on 18 carries. The 2006 Pro Bowler also lost two fumbles - including a costly one at the Panthers' 26-yard line with 9:19 left in the third quarter.

Two plays later, Delhomme hit Smith for the decisive 68-yard strike to give Carolina the lead for good.

"You just have to be able to withstand the storm," said Jackson, who had 2,314 total yards from scrimmage last season. "I didn't intend for my season to start off like this, but since it did, I will not back down."

"We were in a position in the third quarter to win the game," Bulger added. "That's when (Carolina) took it over. We just didn't make plays."

St. Louis All-Pro tackle Orlando Pace left the game in the second quarter with an injury to his right shoulder and did not return.








  • NFL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    CAROLINA 7 0 7 13 27
    ST LOUIS 7 3 3 0 13 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: CAR - TD, DREW CARTER 10 YD PASS FROM JAKE
    DELHOMME (JOHN KASAY KICK), 5:40.
    Drive: 9 plays, 78 yards in 5:40.
    Key plays: Delhomme 11-yard pass to
    Smith to Carolina 30; 29-yard
    pass-interfer

    Sep 9 4:09 PM


  • NFL
    FG CAR
    JOHN KASAY 32 YD
    CAROLINA 27
    ST LOUIS 13 1:04 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Panthers vs. RamsSep 9 4:01 PM


  • NFL
    TD CAR
    DREW CARTER 9 YD PASS FROM JAKE DELHOMME
    (JOHN KASAY KICK)
    CAROLINA 24
    ST LOUIS 13 7:15 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Panthers vs. RamsSep 9 3:40 PM


  • NFL
    FG CAR
    JOHN KASAY 34 YD
    CAROLINA 17
    ST LOUIS 13 14:56 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Panthers vs. RamsSep 9 3:19 PM


  • NFL
    END, 3RD QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    CAROLINA 7 0 7 14
    ST LOUIS 7 3 3 13 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: CAR - TD, DREW CARTER 10 YD PASS FROM JAKE
    DELHOMME (JOHN KASAY KICK), 5:40.
    Drive: 9 plays, 78 yards in 5:40.
    Key plays: Delhomme 11-yard pass to
    Smith to Carolina 30; 29-yard
    pass-i

    Sep 9 3:17 PM


  • NFL
    TD CAR
    STEVE SMITH 68 YD PASS FROM JAKE DELHOMME
    (JOHN KASAY KICK)
    CAROLINA 14
    ST LOUIS 13 8:33 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Panthers vs. RamsSep 9 2:55 PM


  • NFL
    FG STL
    JEFF WILKINS 28 YD
    CAROLINA 7
    ST LOUIS 13 12:51 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Panthers vs. RamsSep 9 2:43 PM


  • NFL
    FG STL
    JEFF WILKINS 42 YD
    CAROLINA 7
    ST LOUIS 10 0:00 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Sep 9 2:26 PM


  • NFL
    FG STL
    JEFF WILKINS 42 YD
    CAROLINA 7
    ST LOUIS 10 0:00 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Panthers vs. RamsSep 9 2:26 PM


  • NFL
    END, 1ST QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    CAROLINA 7 7
    ST LOUIS 7 7 END, 1ST QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: CAR - TD, DREW CARTER 10 YD PASS FROM JAKE
    DELHOMME (JOHN KASAY KICK), 5:40.
    Drive: 9 plays, 78 yards in 5:40.
    Key plays: Delhomme 11-yard pass to
    Smith to Carolina 30; 29-yard
    pass-i

    Sep 9 1:36 PM


  • NFL
    TD STL
    TORRY HOLT 3 YD PASS FROM MARC BULGER
    (JEFF WILKINS KICK)
    CAROLINA 7
    ST LOUIS 7 2:00 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Panthers vs. RamsSep 9 1:27 PM


  • NFL
    TD CAR
    DREW CARTER 10 YD PASS FROM JAKE DELHOMME
    (JOHN KASAY KICK)
    CAROLINA 7
    ST LOUIS 0 9:20 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Panthers vs. RamsSep 9 1:12 PM
  • 10
    roots
    keff0405 Added 5 roots

    Panthers vs. RamsSep 4 11:13 PM
  • 5
    roots
    blueeyes Added 5 roots

    Panthers vs. RamsSep 1 1:09 AM