Monday, September 22, 2014

5 really bad numbers from big Panther loss to Pittsburgh

The Carolina locker room was a quiet place after Pittsburgh had whipped the Panthers, 37-19, on Sunday night.

Carolina safety Thomas DeCoud said the Panthers needed to bring their "A" game to beat Pittsburgh, but instead had brought their "D-plus" or "C-minus" game.

Panther quarterback Cam Newton said the team had had some lackadaisical moments in practice last week, but players had promised each other that "we'll get it, we'll get it" when the games began.

Panther coach Ron Rivera said he pulled Newton out of the game late in the fourth quarter because "I just didn't want to see him get hit anymore."

There were lots of problems Sunday night -- for awhile, it looked like Pittsburgh was East Carolina and the Panthers were UNC. But here are five of the biggest issues for the Panthers, by the numbers:

2 -- turnovers for Carolina, after having zero the first two games. Both Panther lost fumbles led to scores, with Philly Brown's punt-return fumble into the end zone the most egregious. "Basically I was trying to do too much at the time," Brown said. "I could have just done the smart play and fell on it."

3 -- Pittsburgh rushed that many players on a lot of Carolina's pass attempts -- and still got heavy pressure. That's almost unfathomable.

10 -- Panthers' rushing attempts. Total! This is a team that prides itself on trying to run the ball, and this was a game that was still 9-3 early in the third quarter before it started getting out of hand. Carolina had to throw late, of course, but 10 carries (for 42 yards) isn't going to cut it. Of course, most of the Panther running backs were hurt by the end of the game, and that didn't help, either. Panther offensive tackle Byron Bell said that running the ball was all about "attitude" after the game, and that Carolina needed a better one.

105 -- Panthers' total penalty yardage. Carolina had some huge penalties in this game, including a defensive offsides that allowed Pittsburgh to turn a field goal into a touchdown and a 42-yard pass interference penalty on DeCoud.

264 -- Pittsburgh's total rush yardage Sunday, including two 100-yard rushers. The Panthers tackled poorly and often seemed to overrun their gaps, trying to make plays that just weren't there.


Anonymous said...

Of the 10 running attempts I think 2 of them were by Cam when he dropped back to pass but ended up running instead. Not a designed running play. So we really tried to run the ball only 8 times. The RBs are hurt but you gotta try more than that to keep their defense honest. Otherwise they completely take away the passing game too because they know it's coming.

Anonymous said...

The comment on the running game is a prime example of why you can't just look at numbers and ignore context. Yes, they only ran 10 times but that should be expected when you are busy going three and out due to the O-line imploding on every single play. As for the lack of healthy running backs, there is a direct correlation with the shoddy blocking. Running backs should not be getting blown up by DTs as soon as they are handed the ball.

Clay Jackson said...

This complete collapse by the Panthers over shadows one major positive.

Our franchise qb Cam Newton, while playing at way less than a 100% and being severely pressured by Pittsburg all night, played very well and definitely good enough to win.

With no time or run support he was accurate, got the ball out quickly, made good decisions, and played a very smart game.

24-35, 250 yds, 68.6% complete, 1 td, 0 int, 98.5 passer rating.

Anonymous said...

Other than Cam Newton, we haven't been a running team in years!