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Jets’ Santonio Holmes doesn’t back down on ‘weakest link’

Scott Fowler is a national award-winning sports columnist for The Charlotte Observer.
PANTHERS_JETS_09
Jeff Siner - jsiner@charlotteobserver.com
Carolina Panthers cornerback Captain Munnerlyn (41) intercepts a pass by New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith meant for wide receiver Santonio Holmes (10) during the fourth quarter of Sunday's game at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte. The Panthers defeated the Jets 30-20. With the interception, Munnerlyn became the all-time team leader for interceptions.

I thought Santonio Holmes’ trash-talking last week was pretty mild by trash-talking standards, but when he called the Carolina Panthers’ secondary the defense’s “weakest link” he really did them a favor. Holmes ended up having a terrible game – he was targeted eight times and caught only two for 14 yards. On one of those passes he didn’t catch, Captain Munnerlyn picked off Geno Smith for a 41-yard touchdown.

My favorite quote about Holmes after the game came from Panthers cornerback Drayton Florence, who guarded Holmes on a number of those plays.

“I told the guys earlier I was going to do everything in my power not to let him get a catch on me,” Florence said. “And when he tried to block me in the run game I was going to put him on his (butt). You watch the film, you’ll see what happened.”

Holmes said after the game when asked if he regretted the “weakest link” quote.

“I’m an eight-year veteran,” Holmes said. “I wouldn’t regret anything.”

He also said he thought his words had no real effect on the game and repeated his assertion about the Panthers’ secondary being the team’s weakest link.

“I said it,” Holmes told New York-based reporters, “and I still feel that way.”

•  Joe Namath, the legendary former Jets quarterback, is on Twitter and had some interesting opinions Sunday. Among them: “Football gods are frowning on the Panthers for being so disrespectful to Jets O for not kicking that field goal when they had the chance! At least I hope so anyway.”

Namath also wrote of Mike Mitchell missing a tackle on Jets running back Chris Ivory: “Mitchell, that truck that ran over you is called Ivory!”

•  The Panthers have now won six straight home games after losing the opener to Seattle, 12-7.

•  Greg Olsen took over the team’s receiving yardage lead from Steve Smith Sunday, but it could swing back the other way next week. Both have 63 receptions this season – Olsen for 739 yards, Smith for 701.

•  The Panthers are 10-for-13 on fourth-down conversions this year after missing a fourth-and-2 Sunday – a call I thought was the right one even though it misfired. Opponents are only 2-for-9 on fourth downs against Carolina.

 

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