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Need a pick-me-up? Flag the Panthers

The Panthers have got to lead the league in getting flags picked up on key defensive plays.

It happened for the third straight week Sunday, when a defensive holding call against Drayton Florence was first called and then “un-called” on Mike Mitchell’s interception because the ball was “uncatchable.” That sounded like shades of New England, didn’t it?

•  As I’ve said before, it’s better to be lucky and good, and the Panthers continue to be both. Another example: How did former N.C. State quarterback Mike Glennon manage to let the ball slip out of his hand that badly on third-and-goal from the 4? Carolina was going to win anyway, but that sure made it easier.

•  Tampa Bay coach Greg Schiano gave an apt assessment of rookie quarterback Glennon, saying he “maybe looked more like a rookie than he’s looked.”

•  The Panthers’ defense has now shut out opponents entirely in the second half in four of its past five games. That is remarkable. If it happens in New Orleans, it will be well beyond remarkable.

•  While Cam Newton’s No. 1 jersey continues to dominate the stands at Bank of America Stadium, I have to believe Luke Kuechly’s No. 59 is now second. I see more and more 59s every week.

•  A.J. Klein did such a good impression of Kuechly on a couple of plays Sunday that you could hear some fans scream “L-U-U-U-K-E” – especially on Klein’s sack of Glennon – before they caught themselves.

•  Ryan Kalil was praising Mike Tolbert Sunday but then noted this regarding a play in which he pulled out of his center position and got way in front of Tolbert on a sweep: “I think I might be faster than him. We’ll have to check the tape.”

•  Jonathan Stewart ran the ball 14 times Sunday, but had no gains of more than 6 yards.

•  Brandon LaFell caught a touchdown pass from Cam Newton but also was the target on both of Newton’s interceptions. LaFell said the first interception was entirely his fault; that he didn’t jump high enough and should have come down with the ball instead of just tipping it.

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