PANTHERS VS. REDSKINS WEEK 6 FILM REVIEW: BREAKING DOWN THE DEFENSIVE STRUGGLES

pANTHERS SKINS 2

The Panthers fell to 3-2 after a hard fought loss to the Washington Redskins as they were unable to overcome 17-0 deficit. In the first half of the game, the Panthers turned the ball over three times which led to 10 Redskins points. The Panthers staged a late, second half rally but came up short in the final minutes.

The Redskins beat the Panthers at their own game. On defense, they were able to force three turnovers and put their offense in favorable positions. On offense, the Redskins controlled the ball with a power run game led by Adrian Peterson who finished with 17 carries for 97 yards. The Redskins dominated time of possession, holding the ball for 35 minutes and 24 seconds, compared to 24 minutes and 36 seconds for the Panthers.

The difference in time of possession proved to be one of the deciding factors in the game. The Panthers only had three possessions in the 2nd half which made it difficult to finish the comeback attempt. The Panthers defense was unable to get off of the field to give the offense more opportunities to get points. The Redskins converted 7 out of 16 third down attempts and one out of two fourth down attempts.

The Panthers defense appears to be a unit that is still struggling to find to find its identity. Heading into the matchup against the Eagles, the Panthers defense ranks 15th in rushing yards per game given up, which is the team’s lowest ranking since 2014. The unit is giving up an average of 4.6 yards per carry which ranks 23rd in the league. The Panthers defense is also one of the five worst in defending 3rd and “medium” (3-6 yards) situations. According to NFL Matchup, the Panthers defense allows first downs on 53.8 percent of opponents’ 3rd and medium situations.

Given the uncharacteristic performance of the Panthers defense, I decided to focus the Week 6 breakdown solely on the struggles of the Panthers defense. I take a look at each of the Redskins key plays of offense that led to touchdowns or allowed them to sustain drives. Based on my observations, I believe that the Panthers defensive problems are fixable and it comes down to players being more disciplined with their assignments and coaching adding some wrinkles to the defense to make their pass coverages more effective.

Enjoy the video and let me know what you think. These are things that will hopefully be corrected as the team heads to Philadelphia in an important road matchup.

Ticket Trends and How That Impacts the Panthers

via Charlotte Observer

While it may too soon for Panthers fans to be thinking about Super Bowl tickets, with today’s onsale of the first-ever “The Night Before” concert, there’s a lot more to do around Super Bowl weekend, whether or not your planning to attend the game.  The show, which is co-produced by On Location Experiences and CBS Radio, will give 20,000 fans an opportunity to soak in the Super Bowl atmosphere at Xcel center, which is home to the Wild and every major concert that goes through the Twin Cities.

 

While parties have always been a staple of Super Bowl weekend, they’ve always been ultra exclusive, invite-only events.  For fans that didn’t have a connection to get a ticket one of the big parties, whether it’s Playboy, Maxim, ESPN, you were basically on your own to come up with a plan for the weekend, which required navigating through a ton of options. For average fans looking to get into one of the big parties, the secondary market was often the only option, with prices usually ranging from $1,000 to $5,000.

With tickets as low as $67, the Dave Matthews show has created another option for fans to be a soak in the atmosphere without having to spend thousands more dollars on top of what they paid for their ticket. An article earlier this week in the Minnesota Star Tribune noted that the show’s tickets didn’t have a ‘very Super Bowl’ price.

 

For fans that are not into Dave Matthews, or just looking for a clubbier vibe, across town Florida – Georgia Line will play the 9,000-person Club Nomadic, now in it’s second year, and also run by OnLocation. The Tribune article goes on to speculate that it ‘could be the biggest Saturday night for concerts the Twin Cities has ever seen’ and tickets for that show are currently available for $200. While that’s expensive compared to the Dave Matthews price tag, it’s very affordable when compared to the prices you’d have to pay for a party like Playboy or Maxim.

 

Last year in Houston, Club nomadic was built from scratch and broken down at the end of the weekend.  This year’s version of the pop-up Club Nomadic will inhabit the Armory for three days, with two more acts still to be announced for Thursday and Friday night. Last year’s Super Bowl weekend entertainment featured Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars, The Chainsmokers and Red Hot Chili Peppers.  If this years acts come anywhere close to that, it will make for an even more memorable weekend for fans that make their way to Minneapolis in February.  In addition to the acts, the Armory itself also has an interesting history, for both sports and music fans. While it has been a parking garage for over ten years, prior to that it was former home of the Minneapolis Lakers, and it also served a the backdrop for a Prince video shoot.   Unlike last year, when the parties are over this year, the Armory will remain as a brand-new 9,000-person venue that will be a major addition to the Minneapolis music and culture scene for years to come.

 

For fans that are feeling confident about the Panthers chances to return to the Super Bowl for the 2nd time in 3 seasons, On Location is also currently selling an all-inclusive ticket for $7,599.  In addition to a three-night hotel stay, that ticket also includes music on Friday or Saturday night as well as access to other weekend events, like tailgates and chef tastings, including the pre-game party at the Armory and feature ‘a curated tailgate-style menu with a Minnesota flair’.

 

Considering that tickets alone to last years game were going for $5,000 dollars and over $3,500 for the Panthers visit in 2016, that seems a really good deal, and also simpler way to enjoy the entire weekend than in year’s past.  It also means that the most complicated part of the equation is now whether or not the Panthers get there.

(Sponsored Post) 

Sharpe Shooter: Bring on the Patriots

 

IMG_2478

original image via Charlotte Observer

Opinion: If the Panthers win the NFC Championship and advance to Super Bowl 50, I want to see the Patriots on the opposite side of the football

CHARLOTTE N.C. – Being the first opinion piece in my column for Bring Back The Buzz, let me breakdown what to expect in this piece, and in future opinion pieces. My column is titled “Sharpe Shooter.” It’s a play on words, referencing my last name. It also alludes to the fact that I have a low tolerance for bullshit…I have a very blunt and straightforward personality. I don’t sugarcoat anything, especially when I have an opinion on something. So without further ado, let me shoot it to you straight: Bring on the Patriots.

With the NFC Championship game on Sunday versus the Arizona Cardinals at The Bank, the team and the fans’ primary focus is obviously on the task at hand: Winning the game and securing our second trip to the Super Bowl in franchise history. Without a victory on Sunday, the next step in this historic season isn’t possible. However, diehard Panthers fans can’t help but focus on what is on the backburner: The AFC Championship game, with the winner being our opponent if we advance to the Super Bowl. Myself included, many Panthers fans would like to see the Patriots win the AFC Championship, so if we punch our ticket to Super Bowl 50, we have an instant-classic rematch of Super Bowl 38 – something that still haunts us all 13 years later.

After conducting a Twitter poll, 56 percent of fans that voted wanted to see the Panthers face off against the Patriots. Honestly, I was very surprised at statistic. I predicted a ballpark number around a 70 percent to 30 percent range, in favor of fans wanting the Patriots to be our potential opponent. After the Patriots received a slim percentage of being the favored opponent among fans, I conducted a second Twitter poll. With Patriots vs. Panthers being the matchup that more fans desired, I had to ask the question: Why? Fifty-four percent of voters wanted revenge from Super Bowl 38. Eight percent of voters wanted to dethrone the reigning Super Bowl champions. Thirty-four percent of voters responded to both aforementioned reasons. Personally, I identify with the latter group of voters. I want revenge and to dethrone the reigning champions, as well as to knock the Patriots off the pedestal they’ve been put on since Super Bowl 36. As follower @alexiariggins stated in a reply to the poll, she wants revenge, and argued, “to be the best you’ve got to beat the best.” While I have some strong feelings about the Patriots being “the best,” there is no denying they have been the most successful franchise since the turn of the millennium.

I agree with the voters and the vast majority of Panthers fans: I want revenge. I want to dethrone the reigning Super Bowl champions. Times are changing in the NFL. While a few franchises around the league – including the Panthers – have built a successful, winning platform to ride for the foreseeable future, the Patriots are on the decline. They are doing anything – and everything – to try and keep up (insert references to scandals over the years). Losing Super Bowl 38 to the Patriots still haunts me. The drive down the field leading up to the game-tying touchdown pass from Jake Delhomme to Ricky Proehl with 1:08 left on the clock in the fourth quarter is still one of my favorite on the field moments in franchise history. However, I still feel heartbreak when thinking about the following John Kasay out-of-bounds kickoff, giving the Patriots the perfect field position to set up Adam Vinatieri for the game-winning field goal – which I still hold as the most devastating moment as a fan of any of my sports teams. I still ponder what could’ve happened in overtime.

However, we cannot dwell on Super Bowl 38 forever. We can’t change the past, but we certainly have control over our future. The team is in the driver’s seat to tack the exclamation point onto this historic season. I feel like it is destiny. The team and the fans need to channel our memories and heartbreak from Super Bowl 38 into fuel for a possible matchup versus the Patriots. This is our year. To cap off this historic season, nothing would make a potential Super Bowl victory even sweeter than if it were to be a win over the Patriots. We want the Patriots. I want the Patriots. I have a gut feeling that this is fate, with fate being on our side 13 years later.

 

 

Will the Legion of Boom Meets it’s DOOM This Sunday?

image

DING DING DING!!!

Its about to go down in the QUEEN CITY! The Battle on the Gridiron that everyone has been waiting for. Your Carolina Panthers against the Seattle Seahawks. This will be one for the record books as these two herculean teams brawl for a trip to the Super Bowl.

So what will make or break these teams? lets take a look at the Achilles Heels of both teams and be sure to watch for it come game time.

  1. Seattle has a quick off the go QB we all know, Russel Wilson. Even though his playing style out of the pocket reminds me of a tiny speedy gondolas from the Loony Toons , he CAN and WILL hurt you on the ground and with his arm. SO DON’T BE FOOLED!!! If the Panthers -D line can effectively collapse the pocket on the sides instead of up the middle the SEA-HAWKS tapes and highlights this season show that he will most often hold and run up the middle. So Panthers if you are reading this do not let him shake you. If they kill the pocket Wilson will have less time and more pressure which as his stats showed earlier this year that he throws off either high or low-aka NORMAN-COLEMAN territory.
  2. Panthers have all of their top guns in the front lines again minus a Charles “Peanut” Tillman. Some see this as a hurt for the Panthers not having him in. However, Peanut is a huge asset on the sidelines and everyone on the team listens to the veteran, he will keep guys in check and guide them on what to look for-so in a way it helps not hurts to have another pair of eyes that knows what to look for on the field.

My prediction is that the Panthers can win this game since they are playing at home, but they can only do this if they

  1. keep composure under control (Norman)
  2. lock down Wilson on the ground on in the pocket and make sure he doesn’t get a hot hand.
  3. If the WR core can get Olsen open on slants
  4. if Ginn can wear out the defense with his speed
Luke

Sunday Night Football

Fate is not defined, its just a suggestion.

Week 1 Film Review: Jerricho Cotchery

[Photo Melissa Melvin-Rodriguez]

Jerricho Cotchery celebrates the team’s only offensive score of Sunday’s game.    [Photo: Melissa Melvin-Rodriguez]

 

 

There’s a reason that the day immediately following the first slate of NFL games is referred to as Over-reaction Monday.

The casual fan likely watches their favorite team play, or whatever game was broadcast in their market, and later begins to skim the rest of the league’s box scores. While a win in this league is worth it’s weight in gold, scores and stat lines aren’t always a telling indication of a team’s outlook going forward – or where it sits in the current landscape among others.

In week 1, the Seahawks lost to the Rams, Adrian Peterson only rushed for 31 yards, and Peyton Manning didn’t throw a single touchdown. All shocking realities you may have noticed in the score section – but none necessarily any cause for concern. As it relates to the Panthers, Cam Newton’s stat line of 175 yards, 1 touchdown, and 1 interception is unimpressive by any measure. But the film reel would suggest that if not for a questionable pass interference call on Greg Olsen’s would-be touchdown, and an inexcusable drop by an end zone-bound Ted Ginn – Newton is looking at a much more appealing 214 yard, 3-score outing.

Of course, that’s not a sustainable point for argument’s sake; Its impossible to separate individual plays and analyze them in a vacuum. But it’s worth noting, to convey the disparaging gap between statistics and film. Below is another look at the Ted Ginn drop, in which the closest Jaguars defender was seen having a beer across the street:

 

If you’re looking for any hope in the realm of this season’s Carolina pass catchers, there may be reason to look to Jerricho Cotchery. While the 12th-year veteran’s most valuable asset comes off the field in the form of mentoring, and you won’t see him beating any top corners this late in his career — he still possesses the sure hands and precise route-running ability that allowed him to catch 10 touchdowns with Pittsburgh just two years ago.

He put that same route running on display in Jacksonville last week, as he went for Carolina’s only offensive score of the game. It was his supreme understanding of NFL defenses, as well as some timely footwork, that found him wide open in the end zone late in the first half.


 

FILM BREAKDOWN

CotcheryTD(1)

On first and goal from the Jaguars 7, the Panthers line up in the Shotgun, with 2 wide receivers Left and Jerricho Cotchery the lone receiver on the Strong side (bottom of frame). He motions toward the middle of the field and settles on the “10”, where he’ll begin his route. Notice both Greg Olsen and Jonathan Stewart drive their routes outward toward the right sideline, taking the outside linebacker and cornerback with them.

CotcheryTD(2)

Philly Brown also runs a flat to the left side of the field, sending a total of 3 defenders to the sidelines and opening up passing lanes to the middle of the field. At this point, Cotchery (red) seems to be settling into a short 5-yard route, which forces the middle linebacker to stay and maintain his zone responsibility. This also leaves the free safety with no choice but to lock into help-coverage with Ginn’s post route. (top-right of frame)

It is with great timing and footwork that Cotchery then breaks into the second hitch of his route, allowing him to find free space in the end zone.  Newton makes the correct read and places the ball just outside of the middle linebacker’s reach. Watch the play in-full below:

 

Without top-wideout Kelvin Benjamin this season, the Panthers will need their remaining pass catchers to step into greater roles than they’ve seen in the past — and with Greg Olsen tasked with blocking all-world defensive end JJ Watt this week, don’t be surprised if the veteran Cotchery sees more targets than usual; Especially in the red zone.

 

POLL: Which Team Do Panthers Fans Consider to be Our Biggest Rival?

Original Edit By J3 Digital

Original Edit By J3 Digital

We all have that one team in the NFL that for one reason or another we truly despise and loath. We have heard many different answers over social media and of course every one thinks their answer is the one every one should agree with and that it is pretty unanimous among Panthers fans

***THIS MAY SEEM OBVIOUS AND DUMB TO SAY BUT ONE VOTE PER FAN PLEASE; ITS NOT FUN IF YOU CHEAT***

Crown Town Football Shirt

Week 1 Preview: Panthers @ Jaguars

 

week1

Design by J3 Digital

In a week that saw the NFL break more off-the-field news than on, fans and players alike are eager to line up and kick off the 2015 season. And while that was officially done on Thursday night, as the Patriots beat the Steelers 28-21, Carolina will embark on a title-defense of its own tomorrow, against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

 

1995 EXPANSION

On October 26, 1993 – the NFL announced that its owners had unanimously voted for the Carolinas and Jacksonville to receive the 29th and 30th franchises – its first new teams since 1976. While there’s since been a significant re-alignment of structure in 2002, here’s how each have fared since inception:

Panthers Jaguars
Division Titles 5* 2**
Playoff Record 7-6 5-7
Conference Championship Appearances 3 1
Super Bowl Appearances 1 0

*4 within current alignment, 1 NFC West Title (1996).

**Both titles from defunct AFC Central.

 

It’s evident that Carolina has seen the more successful start, but they find themselves limping into this Week 1 matchup – on a day that all records stand even.

 

An offseason that included season-ending injuries to number one wideout Kelvin Benjamin, and vital rotation piece Frank Alexander – the Panthers will look for new faces to take on greater responsibility, no different than standout rookies Bené Benwikere and Tre Boston did in last season’s playoff push.

 

Jacksonville is no stranger to injury woes, having lost two marquee players in Julius Thomas and Dante Fowler Jr.

 

Thomas, a blockbuster free agent acquisition from Denver, fractured his right hand in his first preseason action in Jacksonville, and will miss the first month of the season after a necessary surgery. Fowler, the Jaguars #3 overall pick, suffered a torn ACL in his very first practice following the draft.

 

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

NEW SECONDARY

Free Agent acquisition, Charles Tillman, will lead a revitalized secondary this season [Photo Melissa Melvin-Rodriguez]

Free Agent acquisition, Charles Tillman, will lead a revitalized secondary this season [Photo Melissa Melvin-Rodriguez]

This season’s Week 1 Defense will include only one defensive back who started last season’s opener, in Roman Harper. The other three: Melvin White, Antoine Cason, and Thomas Decoud – have all been released from the team. Until Star Lotulelei returns, the Panthers won’t boast the elite defensive line that they’ve fielded in years past – so this new-look secondary will need to step up if the group plans to return to Top 10 prominence.

RUNNING GAME

Jonathan Stewart breaks away for a 69-yard touchdown run against the Saints. [Photo AP - Bill Feig]

Jonathan Stewart breaks away for a 69-yard touchdown run against the Saints. [Photo AP – Bill Feig]

Over the final 6 weeks of 2014, including playoffs, Jonathan Stewart laid down a stat sheet second to only Marshawn Lynch – and looked on film to be one of the most exciting rushers in the league. Monster games against the Saints, Browns, and Cardinals (in which he rushed for over 120 yards each) led the way to an average of 5.1 yards per carry – and helped propel the Panthers to a division title and playoff berth. If he can pick up where he left off, Stewart has the chance to lead this Carolina offense in a fashion that it desperately needs after losing Kelvin Benjamin. Although Ron Rivera noted this offseason that they’d like to limit him to the neighborhood of 15 carries per game, he’s shown that he still has the ability to take over a series, and they won’t steer away from him if he starts rolling. Look for him to get out to a hot start against a Jaguars defense that gave up an average of 127 yards on the ground last season.

 

The Panthers re-elect their 6 team captains from last season. [Image via Panthers.com]

The Panthers re-elect their 6 team captains from last season. [Image via Panthers.com]

SEASON CAPTAINS

Position – Player (Years of Captainship)

 

QB – Cam Newton (3rd)

TE – Greg Olsen (2nd)

C – Ryan Kalil (3rd)

DE – Charles Johnson (3rd)

LB – Thomas Davis (5th)

LB – Luke Kuechly (3rd)

 

LAST MEETING

On the third week of the 2011 season, Cam Newton & Ron Rivera’s rookie year, the Jaguars traveled to Charlotte for a game that featured a torrential downpour, much like that of the memorable 2013 matchup with the Saints. With the Jaguars in the lead for much of the second half, Cam Newton drove down the field with 4 minutes left to play – and completed both a touchdown pass and 2-point conversion to Greg Olsen, notching his first game-winning drive and first career win in the NFL. The game also featured an incredible catch-and-run by Jonathan Stewart, which was called back – noted here by David Newton.

 

 

You can watch the null-and-void Stewart play here.

 

 

INJURY REPORT

NAME POSITION INJURY WED THURS FRI STATUS
Richie Brockel TE Shoulder DNP DNP DNP Out
Nate Chandler OT Knee LP DNP DNP Out
Ryan

Kalil

C Knee LP LP FP Probable
Josh Norman CB Concussion LP LP FP Probable
Teddy Williams CB Groin FP FP FP Probable

 

Practice Status:

DNP = Did not participate in practice

LP = Limited Participation

FP = Full Participation

(-) = No Practice Status Available

 

Game Status:

Out = Player will not play

D = Doubtful (25% chance a player will play)

Q = Questionable (50% chance a player will play)

P = Probable (75% chance a player will play)

(-) = No player status available

 

 

GAME BROADCASTS

 

TELEVISION

 

FOX (1:00 PM)

Play-by-Play: Chris Myers

Analyst: Ronde Barber

Sideline: Jennifer Hale

 

RADIO FLAGSHIP

 

WBT-AM (1110 AM in Charlotte)

Play-by-Play: Mick Mixon

Analysts: Jim Szoke, Eugene Robinson

Sideline: Jordan Gross

Follow Austin on Twitter @Austallings for Breaking News, Injury Updates, and General Football-oriented Rants.