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October 31, 2010

Moore encounters low-pressure system

ST. LOUIS – There were four nice folks dressed up as Panthers’ fans at our hotel Saturday night.

Nah, these were honest-to-goodness PSL holders who make one trip a year with the Panthers. The two middle-aged couples were in Boston last year, have been to San Francisco a couple times, and are in St. Louis for Halloween weekend.

Anyway, one of the men talked about how pleased he was with John Fox’s decision to sit Jimmy Clausen and go back to Matt Moore at quarterback. He questioned whether Clausen ever would be a successful NFL quarterback.

We’ll learn much more about Clausen in 2011. But barring injury, it looks like Moore will finish things out this year.

Moore made a damning admission this week, telling reporters that he plays better when the stakes are low and there’s no pressure on him. Moore’s a good guy and almost honest to a fault: Not sure a guy in a contract year should be questioning his ability to perform in the clutch.

Unless the Panthers go on some kind of a tear, it’s doubtful Moore will play in any pressure games the rest of this year. It was in this same type of environment that Moore thrived last year, going 4-1 down the stretch and convincing the Panthers that he could lead a team in games that mattered.

Then he threw three end-zone interceptions at the new Meadowlands in Week 1.

Moore looked terrific last week against San Francisco. He played loose and confident while zipping passes to every part of the field, including those faraway places that Clausen couldn’t reach.

Facing a 3-4 Rams team led by No. 1 draft pick Sam Bradford, don’t be surprised if Moore again is the best quarterback on the field today. The Panthers are 1-5; they have nothing to lose.

But one of these days Moore must prove he can win a game when everything’s on the line. Otherwise, he’s likely looking at a life as a career backup.

--Joseph Person

Posted by Observer Sports on October 31, 2010 at 10:00 AM | Permalink

Comments

He's already there Joe.

Posted by: cppro | Nov 1, 2010 7:45:12 AM

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