How Many Stars? Panthers Vs. Packers

Bill VothNews, Week 76 Comments


Vote by selecting the amount of stars deserved after each group’s analysis

Panthers quarterback Cam Newton had his most inaccurate game of the year, finishing 17-of-31 for 205 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

Carolina’s offensive line, which didn’t allow a sack last week in Cincinnati, didn’t help Newton. They gave up three sacks, while also losing right guard Trai Turner (ankle) and left tackle Byron Bell (elbow) to injuries.

Tight end Greg Olsen had eight receptions for 105 yards, a regular-season career high.

Receiver Kelvin Benjamin, who played after suffering a concussion last week, had three catches for 61 yards and a fourth-quarter touchdown.

Thanks mostly to its leaky defense, the Panthers never had a chance to try to establish the run against the worst run defense in the league.

Running back Jonathan Stewart returned from a three-game absence, but he only had room to run for 55 yards on 14 carries.

Newton added seven carries for 41 yards.

Offensive coordinator Mike Shula didn’t call many read options, even though it was so effective against the Bengals, and it gave the Packers fits in Miami.

If there was a zero star option, that’s what’s deserved here. Yes, Aaron Rodgers is probably the hottest quarterback in the league, but the Panthers offered zero resistance. Rodgers was an easy 19-of-22 for 255 yards with three touchdowns.

Over their last five games the Panthers have allowed Ben Roethlisberger, Joe Flacco, Jay Cutler, Andy Dalton and Rodgers to complete a staggering 74.7 percent of their passes. The total numbers of those five starters against the Panthers: 121-of-162, 1,389 yards, 12 TDs, four INTs.

The Packers didn’t run much because they didn’t need to stop picking the Panthers apart through the air. When Green Bay did run, they broke a handful of tackles. Eddie Lacey and James Starks combined for 99 yards and two touchdowns on 19 attempts.

Brad Nortman was arguably the Panthers’ best player. He averaged 43 yards on seven punts, including a 67-yarder.

Graham Gano made a 33-yard field goal, his only attempt of the game.

Returner Philly Brown left in the second half after suffering a concussion.

Head coach Ron Rivera was sensitive when asked about his defense’s struggles last week, but that unit has given up at least 37 points four times in its last five games. This isn’t just a one play or one game problem. Question Shula and the offense, which was not good, but the defense gave the Panthers no shot to beat the Packers.

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  • Mitchell Mosher

    How can this defense slip from top 5 last year to 26th and still getting worse this year.? Can’t all be due to Greg “Dufus” Hardy’s absense? What is Gettleman doing? Receivers are better than last I think but the running game is worse. This does not make any sense sense? Is it the coaching? Or, did the rest of the league get better, while we stood still?

  • sncsurf

    Worst Carolina defense I’ve ever seen.

  • bauerdavidson

    Its all In the secondary in my opinion. Last years Legion of Whom is far better than this years…the little bit more they had last year, let the front seven apply better pressure. Now the linebackers have to play more coverage to try and compensate.

  • RobRyan1

    this was an embarrassment. Cannot believe that Greg Hardy had such an impact last year versus this year but it appears so…no pressure, cannot tackle and the DBs and CBs are BAD. 

    Goodbye to CJ, Stew, DeAngelo, DeCoud, Harper, next year… good riddance.

  • appgrad22

    am i wrong for being so upset with shula?

  • jleonard247

    The secondary is worse than a steamy pile of garbage and cat puke, combined.