Some numbers I find significant and/or weird as Carolina enters its home opener vs. Green Bay Sunday:
0-1 -- The record of all four NFC South teams after one week.
1 -- Steve Smith's current rank in receiving yards in the NFL (178).
1.9 -- I had this in my column today focusing on Cam Mania, but 1.9 was the average number of pass plays of 20 yards or more the Panthers had per game in 2010. They had eight 20-yard plus pass plays Sunday.
2 -- Cam Newton's NFL rank in passing yardage after one week (422). He is sandwiched bewteen Tom Brady (517) and Drew Brees (416). Enjoy that while it lasts, Panther fans.
8 -- Kickoff or punt returns taken back for TDs in Week 1, which was an NFL record. One of them, of course, was the misplayed 89-yard punt return the Panthers allowed Arizona rookie Patrick Peterson Sunday, which turned out to be the game's winning points.
52 -- Length of the field goal head coach Ron Rivera didn't let Olindo Mare try with the game tied at 7-all in the second quarter Sunday. On fourth-and-16 from the Arizona 35, he instead elected to punt and explained this decision Monday by saying he felt field position was very important at that stage. (Jason Baker knocked it into the end zone, so the Panthers gained only 15 yards of field position there.)
I generally liked almost everything the Panthers' new coaching staff did Sunday, but this struck a false note to me. Mare, from 52 yards, kicking indoors? That's the sort of thing you signed the strong-legged kicker for, right?
Ultimately, it was a 7-point game and those 3 points wouldn't have mattered that much, I suppose, but it did make me wonder.
In case you are curious, John Kasay has made 40-of-78 field goals from 50 yards or more in his career (51.3 percent). John Fox routinely let Kasay try from the 50-52 yard range. Mare has far fewer attempts from the same distance but a similar percentage -- 19-for-41 for 46.3 percent.
68.6 -- I love this number from Sports Illustrated. Green Bay, while officially a 3-4 defense, actually played a 2-4-5 (2 defensive linemen, 4 linebackers and 5 defensive backs) on 68.6 percent of its snaps last season. The Panthers are going to need to run the ball effectively on the Packers when Dom Capers lines 'em up like that.
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