Sunday didn’t start well for Carolina veteran receiver Steve Smith when he dropped a sure touchdown pass on his team’s first drive. Smith would’ve beaten Patrick Peterson on the play. Smith ended up being targeted 10 times by quarterback Cam Newton, but he had just four catches for 60 yards. Peterson also made an interception in front of Smith (to be fair, the ball was well underthrown — seen below) and Smith was called for offensive pass interference on Peterson.
That latter call clearly did not sit well with Smith the day after.
“I got a (pass interference) penalty, which is very interesting,” Smith told the Charlotte Observer. “I got leg-humped and hugged a few times. Being a pretty good flag football player, I think I got my flag pulled on my jersey a few times,” Smith said. “I would say pretty much, I take that one on the chin and just say it was me. I’ve got to play better.”
Smith added he had a discussion with one of the officials. “He told me on my route (that) I felt like I got held, where (Peterson) had the back of my jersey and used that to slingshot his way through and bat the ball down,” Smith said. “He said he grabbed my jersey, he saw it, but he didn’t think it was enough that changed the course of the route.”
And then, talking about the Peterson play, Smith said, “It was pass interference in Mexico, Europe, rugby — in pretty much every other sport but in Arizona yesterday. But then when I pushed off it was pass interference.” Smith also called the official “garbage.”
Peterson was credited with three pass breakups in addition to his interception. According to profootballfocus.com, Peterson was targeted a total of nine times in the game, and he gave up three catches (for 48 yards). In his last two games, Peterson has given up four catches in 17 targets, according to PFF. Seven of the Carolina targets were for Smith, who had two catches for 37 yards against Peterson while Peterson knocked down a pass and got the pick.
“They were pretty much running everything we saw in practice all week,” Peterson said after the game. “We didn’t do a great job. We had a couple busts in the secondary which is unusual for us. We weren’t communicating the way we should. But halftime, as a captain and a leader of the defense, I had to get the guys going. So we came out in the second half and played much better, much smarter Cardinal football.”
Tags: Panthers, Patrick Peterson, Steve Smith
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