Breaking Down the Carolina Panthers, Part Two

Yesterdy I gave you my impressions of the Panthers struggling, inexperienced offensive unit.  Today I give you their defense and special teams.

General note.  I like John Fox a whole lot and I like the way his teams play.  If he gets bumped out of town and things go wrong in Chicago, the Bears should look in his direction.

Defense

  • We have to start our evaluations of all opponents by looking at their pass rush.  The Panthers don't have any elite talents up front but Charles Johnson seems capable of a multi-sack performance at the left end slot.  The Panthers may not be sacking the quarterback much but Drew Brees was continually faced with a collapsing pocket and limited time to throw.
  • If the Bears come out with a conservative, down-the-middle game plan they'll be playing right into the hands of the Panthers.  The Saints moved the ball well with a terrific mix of end arounds, pitches and screens to various players.  The Panthers look a bit lacking in sideline-to-sideline speed.
  • That may be the reason Jeremy Shockey was open on what felt like every down.  If he managed to catch more than 25% of the passes that touched his hands, he could have had a monster game. 
  • It's fun to spend the few hours watching other games closely because I get discover players like middle linebacker James Anderson.  Anderson has an all-world motor, terrific gap discipline and solid ball awareness.  He had two downfield fumble recoveries and a sack of Drew Brees to end the first half.  If the Panthers send him at Cutler Sunday, he'll get there.
  • The Saints have struggled offensively this year but they moved the ball well on the Panthers.  In an almost Bearsian way, the Panthers continued to force fumbles and stunt drives.  The Panthers want to beat their opponents at the turnover game, knowing it's the only way for them to accrue enough points to win.
  • The Saints receivers had a hard time separating from the Panthers secondary.  Marques Colston, Robert Meachem and Lance Moore each needed to work through traffic in order to make any kinds of plays downfield.
  • This defense hustles.  They play hard.  They know that a couple touchdowns could put the game out of reach for the offense.
Special Teams
  • Punter Jason Baker has the ability to completely neutralize Devin Hester in the punt return game.  He routinely boots the ball fifty yards and the thing hangs up in the air forever.
  • Watch out for Mike Goodson, the Panthers kickoff return man.  If he plays - he suffered a vicious facemask penalty on Sunday - he has the kind of burst that could life tricky for the Bears.

Comments

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  • At FIRST glance, the Panthers 0-4 record may be very deceiving. I look for it to be a close game with the Bears winning it on a last minute drive.

  • In reply to ImissButkus:

    i seen how you did that. nice

  • In reply to ImissButkus:

    My bad Willie. You're right. forgot the Caps.

  • Couldn't agree more, Trac. I like this Panthers team. They just have no passing game whatsoever.

  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    Welcome back, Mayor!

  • Going back to Randy Moss, it's a shame that a guy like him doesn't seem to be able to represent a Club well. If he hadda just dealt with the front office behind the scenes and done his job without going public without showing up to post game press conferences with those stupid looking earphones and caps on, New England probably would have tried to work out a deal with him. I know the Pats front office drives a hard bargain but when everyone's only focus is on the big bucks, this is what you get. It goes back to how much money is enough. I say everyone gets their just deserts in the end.

  • If we can get an early 10-14 pt lead and force these jamokes to abandon the run the game will not be close. Clausen and their Smithless WR core will not beat us.

  • Wow, as complete as Blogfather's analysis was, it was somewhat depressing to read.

    The Panthers have the needed tools to defeat us.

    If we start Caleb Hanie, and run a reduced playbook, it plays right into their hands. We need screens and traps a plenty. We need Forte and Taylor to have big games.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    Nice pic. Take me to the bridge!!!!!!

  • How ironic would it be if Jamar Williams puts a sack on Hanie?

  • In reply to gpldan:

    Actually that would not be ironic at all, nowhere close to ironic, in fact:
    At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered ironic. Everyone in this blog is now dumber for having read it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

  • In reply to dutsami:

    I don't believe in god, much to Trac's chagrin.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    Also a 13 word sentence cannot, by definition, be considered rambling. Nor can be incoherent, minus any misspellings, of which there was none. Hence, no rambling.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    it's a quote from Billy Madison.

  • In reply to dutsami:

    i was waiting for someone to take that seriously. that was funny.

  • In reply to dutsami:

    Here's a link to an interesting article by profootballfocus about the Saints/Carolina game last week. Seems to back up what Jeff said about James Anderson:

    http://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2010/10/04/re-focused-week-4-carolina-at-new-orleans/

  • In reply to dutsami:

    Here's an interesting article breaking down the Carolina/Saints game last week that seems to back up what Jeff said about James Anderson.:

    http://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2010/10/04/re-focused-week-4-carolina-at-new-orleans/

  • In reply to dkbat:

    Sorry about the double post, was getting strange errors trying to leave a comment...

  • In reply to dkbat:

    Looks like Jay will be under center come Sunday.

    Leave a comment...http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2010/10/06/jay-cutler-returns-to-practice/

  • In reply to ImissButkus:

    Jay is a fucking trooper. He can bang 200 Kristin Cavaleris for all I care...

  • In reply to gpldan:

    gettin hot in the hot tub!

  • In reply to hollywood1:

    HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHH! Hot TUB!

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    If he bangs megan fox then he will be all time in my books but kristin cavaleris looks like the washed up cheerleader from high school, who the team was taking rounds on.

  • In reply to Grizzly559:

    He needs to ring the Kristen BELL.

  • In reply to Grizzly559:

    It's a numbers game for me. If you're an NFL QB then *no* chick should get a double dip.
    "Hi what's your name ... BANG! ... hey, what's up ... BANG! ...I like your dress ... BANG!"
    Why would you *not* use that to have the time of your life young man? Variety is the spice of life, n'est pas ?

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    WASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSUUUUUUUUPPPPPPPPPP!!!!!!!!!!!

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    Trac, that cracked me up. You just called THE Godfather of soul a chick baby. Damn.

    Check this out: http://rivals.yahoo.com/highschool/blog/prep_rally/post/Massachusetts-school-pulls-out-of-game-citing-si?urn=highschool-274799

    First thought: Pussies.

    Second thought: Oh snap, can we draft all of the other school's linemen right now?

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    OKAY HERE IT IS: The first three games i wore the same hat,jersey,shorts,socks,shoes,and boxers, And we won all those three games. Okay and for the fourth game at the giants, i didnt wear any of those clothes. Im sorry boys but i think i cost the game. haha

  • In reply to Grizzly559:

    I forgot my Cutler jersey at work over that weekend....It's all me.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    Who do you believe in GP?

  • In reply to ImissButkus:

    The ghost of George Halas. I've been teaching him via Ouija board how all of us in modern times call people douchebags. He thinks it's a disgusting word.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    http://www.windycitygridiron.com/2010/10/6/1734276/oss-all-in?ref=yahoo

    Shouldn't Lovie be on the other side?

  • In reply to gpldan:

    We traded a backup LB (Jamar) for a starting safety (Harris); so the only real ironic thing that could occur is if we showed up and Harris was a backup safety and Jamar was a starting LB. Which neither of those will happen, Harris is a starter and Williams is still a backup. Hence, no irony.

  • In reply to dutsami:

    You're just angry because the nickname of Child Support that I made up has kinda stuck.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    I don't know who that is... Briggs? Why would I care what you call Briggs?

  • In reply to dutsami:

    Like I mentioned above, and somebody correct me if I am mistaken, but it doesn't look like Jamar has even played a down for them, as yet.

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    Correct. He's lost in roster hell. So we should kidnap the kid back and pretend it never happened.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    Has Jamar Williams even PLAYED for the Panthers this season?
    His name is nowhere to be seen on their stat sheet todate.

    http://www.pro-football-reference.com/teams/car/2010.htm

  • Conversely, this is the game for Chris Harris to lay the wood, if ever a game existed.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    Our safeties have not been the glaring weakness I assumed they would be so far. Harris has actually looked like an NFL free safety, not pro-bowl or anything but definitely startable and Manning might have actually found a position he can play.

  • In reply to dutsami:

    Harris hasn't been tested much. Last week they pounded the rock. He was beat deep during the Lions game. I am still very concerned about Harris's speed. He still can thump people, but he is very slooooooooooow. I agree that Manning seemes to settled a bit on D. Looks better than he ever has on that side of the ball.

  • In reply to Crowned:

    Harris hasn't been tested much...
    1.Calvin Johnson, Best, Pettigrew
    2.Austin, Williams, Barber and a guy named Jason Witten : who Harris and Lach benched
    3.Jennings, Driver, Jones, and Finley

    Those are some of the scariest receiving cores + backs and TEs that we will face all season. Outside of Houston and Indy, some of the most dangerous league-wide. When will he be tested?

  • In reply to dutsami:

    Oh, he's been tested. And failed. Harris was embarrassing on Johnson's TD. Looked like a rookie. And our secondary is #27 in the league for passing yardage given up, so our secondary is failing. Badly. He's a part of that.

  • In reply to dutsami:

    Ive been waiting for discussion to start on the safeties. They have been way better than expected, and without Major. If only the o line will come together in a similar way...
    so far this is also the funniest thread I've read on this blog in a long time.

  • In reply to animal:

    I am really happy to the way our safeties have played this year.

  • Don't think Jamar will be back from injury.

  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    Thanks for that reminder.

  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    Ooo I know a fun little game.. how about if we each come up with a signing/traded for and a release/traded away; that we would take back if we could and make the most impact on the Bears THIS SEASON. Only one of each.

    I would pick Columbo for my should not have parted ways with
    and... Manumanumanuelewena as my should have never signed.

  • In reply to dutsami:

    the thomas jones trade is still an all time low for me, and signing AA was stupid

  • In reply to animal:

    neither really meets the "this season" criteria. Sorry. I'd keep Alex Brown fo sho, and the not signing of any major O-linemen was disaster

  • In reply to dutsami:

    Jamar Williams was an incredibly moronic giveaway - the Panthers were going to cut Harris for free. Omelette has caused far more damage than Manu. I'd turn the clock back on him.

  • I'm hoping this is the week Chester Taylor is finally utilized like he should be.

  • In reply to Crowned:

    Yes, when our blocking schemes start to work but until then, good luck.

  • In reply to Crowned:

    I hope we run the ball period regardless of if it's Forte or Taylor.

  • In reply to dutsami:

    +1 Urlacher. I dont see us winning if we cant establish the run.

  • In reply to Grizzly559:

    We couldn't establish the run against the Lions, Girls and Fudger's so why would that stop us now. I definitely see the Bears running the ball more than ever, whether it's effective or not. I'm sure Lloyd's of London threatened to cancel their insurance policy if the Bears didn't agree to triple the runs plays from here on out.

  • In reply to ImissButkus:

    First, we need to bench Omelette. Piss poor run-blocker. Forget about Greg Olsen. How's Manu's run-blocking?

  • In reply to dutsami:

    Bears have to i mean HAVE TO establish a run game. No more bullshit highflying pass plays, that end up getting our QB killed. Our WRS stink and yes I mean it! Run the ball to set up the PASS! PERIOD!!!!!!!!!

  • In reply to Grizzly559:

    I don't know that it's possible but they can certainly establish a low-risk passing game to take its place. They are literally built at the skill positions - Forte, Taylor, Olsen, Knox, Hester - to be a dynamic short passing team.

  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    +1

  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    God knows Peyton Manning has made a career of throwing three yard passes.

  • In reply to Crowned:

    On the Mark Anderson thing.. so we will presumably be out his salary for this year right... like 1.6 million I think and we gotta pay the new guy, even if its cheap he'll cost around a million or so.
    So that's ~2.5 million spent on getting a solid DE opposite Pep. I think that's about what AB signed for in NO and I have a hard time believing he wouldn't have restructured to stay with the Bears for that same money. Man our management is silly, I change my pick for not realeasing to Mr. Brown of the Alex sort.

  • In reply to dutsami:

    What are we paying exactly for Manofmoolah?

    I know its' alot, but I don't know exactly how much.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    Five-years $15 million deal ($6.1 guaranteed). He's 30, and believes that God revealed his worldy secrets to Joseph Smith on Golden tablets and told him not to show them to anybody else.

  • In reply to dutsami:

    OK, I had to take a few days off from this blog, so that I wouldn't totally give a "we are who we thought they were" rant lol

    1)I think Bear Fans are a bit nervous cuz last year, around this time, we began our downward spiral to mediocrity. So those who are skeptical, tend to point to last season(s), while the glass full ppl cite this season, Peppers, Lach, etc. It seems ridiculous to say, esp against an 0-4 team, but this week against the Panthers is a MUST win for the bears. We need to rebuild confidence. We need to prove that we're not just mediocre, but good. Preferably, we win convincingly...

    2)We couldn't get a 6th or 7th round pick for Anderson? Really? I think I read somewhere that the Texans picked him up - I'm all for accountability, but at least salvage SOMETHING from it. U don't think Belichick would've got something for him? There's a reason the Pats seemingly have 10 picks every draft.

    3)And on that note, in the infamous words of Roberto Duran - No-Moss - for us at least, and I'm ok with that. If anyone cares to remember my pre-draft post, I made the seemingly radical proposition that the Bears draft O-line men in ea round, and now u guys no why. Unless some sorta miracle happens with our Oline, and advocate the strategy for next yr, so we're gonna need our 3rd rounder. What's the point of having Moss 90yds down field while Cutler is writing 90yds back on the turf, trying to remember his name?

    4) To sit Cutler, or Not to sit...that is the question...only if Cutler is TOTALLY asymptomatic should he play this Sunday. Maybe I'm over-reacting but I just read an article in the SFweekly of a former NFLplayer who sustained many concussions and now is living on the street, and may go to prison, and to all accounts, it is mainly due to his concussions. Not just that, but as other blogger noted, it's easier to get concussions once a person withstands a few. It's like we u sprain ur ankle - then ur more susceptible to them in the future...I'm thinkg if Steve Young and Aikman specifically...I'm curious to hear what they would recommend for Cutler this week...

  • In reply to KissMyButkus:

    Which player do you refer to regarding concussions?

  • In reply to ImissButkus:

    Chris Brymer, a bubble O-line man who was always undersized, so had to rely on his "viciousness" to make it. The article is called "Head Case". Here's the link to the story.

    http://www.sfweekly.com/2010-09-29/news/head-case/4/

  • In reply to KissMyButkus:

    +10 for the Sugar Ray-Duran name drop.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    Who's the ugly chick Gp?

  • In reply to ImissButkus:

    Trac, that comment cements your status as the whitest guy on the board.

  • In reply to CanadaBear:

    Hahahahahahahah!

  • In reply to CanadaBear:

    I believe we sit Jay for this one. Start Collins, and the game plan should be RUN and RUN some more. Our D is gonna hold the panthers to under 7 points.

    Did you see how the giants played last week against us, yea thats the way we should play this game vs the panthers. Let collins do lil 10 yrd and under throws, with some WR and RB screens. Let Forte and Taylor pound the ball all afternoon.

  • In reply to Grizzly559:

    Per the Trib, Cutler is practicing and is expected to play Sunday with Collins as #2. http://www.chicagobreakingsports.com/2010/10/cutler-practicing-expected-to-play-vs-panthers.html

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    yea i seen that Al, what do you think man? should he play? I wouldnt risk it.

  • In reply to Grizzly559:

    Iam known to be exceedingly cautious, as well as a devout pessimist.

    I concur with several of the "Blog Doctors" here:
    I think Cutler's bell got rung LONG before that last sack and, if it were my call, which it ain't, I would err on the side of caution and hold him out for a week.

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    Has anybody felt like the blogfather has been a lil upset with us lately? haha he been in a bad mood. haha

  • In reply to Grizzly559:

    Nothing a victory won't fix.

  • In reply to Mastodon:

    He's confident...it's us that has him rattled. We're a tough audience out here, WE WANT IT ALL...no less! God that's bad!!!

  • In reply to RogerMinton:

    Second biggest market in the USA. 25 years waiting MaddBear. Yes we do want it all! Long time hurtin'.

  • In reply to RogerMinton:

    And can somebody tweet Taylor(@CTaylor29) and tell him Roy has posted a vid on Youtube - how to changer your user pic on Twitter, just for him. It's embarrassing. Show some respect Chester!

  • In reply to RogerMinton:

    Quit abusing statistics...for the love of math, put them in context.
    The Bears are 27th in the league for passing yardage. Great. Look at the Green Bay game - the Packers threw the ball 45 fucking times at 7 YPC. Why? Because they were averaging about 1.1 YPC rushing in the first half and they had to throw.
    OK, now let's go further back to the Cowboys game. They threw the ball 51 times at a not-so-spectacular 7.3 YPC. And those 374 yards passing resulted in one touchdown and two picks.
    I won't even bother with the total for the Lions except to say they averaged a WHOPPING 4.3 YPC.

    By comparison, Dallas hung a 9.5 YPC on Houston while still running the ball effectively.
    Our secondary has held up fine - total passing yards doesn't mean shit without context.

  • In reply to MikeBrownhadaPosse:

    The Lions were missing their Franchise at QB. And all that yardage eats up the clock, stops us from scoring, keeps our D on the field yada yada. But so far, they're keeping us in games. No doubt. Slice it whatever way you want but our secondary can't stop anybody. It might actually get better if Wright replaces Harris though.

  • In reply to Grizzly559:

    Hmmm...

    He should definitely have been pulled at the start of the second quarter ... and I'm probably on my own here, but ...

    I'm going to take the heartless bastard approach and say that Cutler should play. We need the win and I don't see us getting it without Cutler. What difference does a week make? If he's bruised and battered then fair enough, but his brain doesn't get 'better' in a week. Damage is cumulative. I've had multiple multiple concussions (no shit Irish!) and I've been good to go after a day or two. No one's feeding me through a straw or showing me picture books in the sun room. I'll head off all the invited comments and say that there isn't much brain to damage up there anyway. But there is a certain amount of mollycoddling that goes on nowadays. This is football. He hasn't got AIDS, he got a bang on the head, and he was wearing a helmet by the way. There's no helmets in Rugby man. Butkus is laughing his ass off and biting his tongue on this I guarantee it. How many fingers am I holding up? Can you walk? Good. Button your chin strap son, go out there and play ball.

    Wally. Thirteen years. One game. Think he never got smacked ? Anyone feelin' that ?

  • In reply to CanadaBear:

    Wouldn't be upset if they start Hanie Sunday. Rather safe than sorry. That's providing his shoulder is up to the task.

  • In reply to CanadaBear:

    Pretty fly for a white guy though!

  • In reply to ImissButkus:

    Tip: He's a sex machine and has an Italian/Catholic relationship with Soul ...

  • In reply to gpldan:

    Yes, I was up all night thinking about it lol

    I actually thought we might have a chance at Moss next yr, but good Ole Bilichick wasn't about to let him go without getting something for him, unlike some other organization, which shall remain nameless.

    Belichick would trade his Grandma if it meant moving up 2 spots in the draft

    And I'm glad u got the Duran-Ray reference...I was worried lol

  • In reply to gpldan:

    Trac! Thats no chick!!! hahahahaha.

    Its the James Brown

  • In reply to Dmband:

    That would be...

    THE James Brown.

    (He requested capitals in his title... I abided)

  • In reply to JohnGalt:

    Do you know why they didn't bury him right away? They were keeping him around for spare parts for other Sex Machines! BOOYAY!

  • In reply to CanadaBear:

    "Ah FEEEL GOOD....I knew that I would now..."
    sayeth the Godfather of Soul.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    "Manos de Piedra"

  • In reply to gpldan:

    Martz is "falling on the sword" for his guys this week saying he tried to add to much to the plate in a short week. Also says Collins is the #2 guy again.

    http://www.chicagobreakingsports.com/2010/10/martz-takes-blame-tried-to-do-way-too-much.html

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    Wow. A coach who actually admits responsibility for his units failure. weird.

    IF this was the D, and Lovie was still the coordinator, we would hear some like:

    "Like what we are trying to do on the football field. Like all of our players. Just didn't make plays. Again, we are happy with what we are doing on the football field. I'd make the same calls again. Just have to exicute better."

    So let's see what Martz changes or "scales back." Let's also hope Jay plays... I don't want to see a QB battle between Tod Collins and Jimmy Clausen. First to 14 points wins... boring.

  • In reply to JimmyNewport:

    Seriously.. I dont want to see Jay rushed back by any means but I also dont want to go 3-2 due to the Bears or the NFL being overly cautious. Now that being said.. you can never be overly cautious when youre talking about Jay Cutler who pretty much is the franchise. Maybe we can run the wildcat some more and let Forte throw it. And yes thats a joke

  • In reply to Jlehr:

    I love it, martz taking accountability for his offense. GREAT!

  • In reply to Jlehr:

    MOSS IS A VIKING!

  • In reply to Jlehr:

    Old news frez. More implosion potential. Farve is lost. They're a done deal. Book it!

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    aww shit man. I need to keep up with you guys.

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    Does anybody know who's gonna be starting on offense this week?

  • In reply to ImissButkus:

    Hester and Knox (and seemingly Olsen) are outside the accountability zone - so we can assume they're up for giggles.

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    How refreshing to have a coach with the confidence to draw some of the heat off of our players. Good job MM.

  • In reply to KissMyButkus:

    I've had a grade II concussion (full loss of consciousness). It's no laughing matter. I was dizzy for 2 months whenever I put my head back. Had random vertigo for the first 2 weeks after. No migranes. No loss of vision. No behavioral changes... although these things can happen.

    I'm guessing mine was more severe than Cutler's (seeing as I was fully out... and didn't know where I was upon waking up). I have total memory loss of the event that caused it.

    Point being, they should be careful rushing him back. But if he can practice without any symptoms, he'll be ok. It's not debilitating. I highly doubt it correlates with becoming a bum or criminal. Although, becoming a vegetable due to long term repeated brain damage is possible.

    truthfully, I think Cutty will be ok. I think he'll play. I doubt there is significantly more risk compared to waiting another week. In my experience, the symptoms linger for months. It's medically referred to as "post-concussion syndrome" and it effects everyone differently.

    It's surprising to me how little is known about the chronic effects of concussions. There's not a lot to test for. The doc just does a physical and asks if you feel weird... that's basically it. Probably more indepth for a NFL player... but it's not like they can probe your brain to see if you're ok. The MRI is normal, or he'd be hospitalized. Otherwise it's up to him to tell the Doc how he's feeling. I'd guess most NFL players would lie to get back on the field.

  • In reply to Crowned:

    I watched the shortcut of the game twice yesterday. Their D looked solid, but then again everyones D has looked solid against the Saints this year. I do think the Bears will have much better luck running the ball this week vs passing it on every down as they have in the past. And I expect the Bears O-line to come out and try to make a statement .. not saying that they will actually make that statement but I'm sure theyre going to try.

  • In reply to Jlehr:

    yah this is a big game: as everyone says we started last year 3-1.. just before a 6 game losing skid. We need to string a couple more wins together starting with this one.

  • Not with the bandwagoners these days...

    Kids are fickle. Which means everynoe's "favorite team" would be the best team their last year in college.

  • dude update your pic.

  • http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/football/nfl/10/06/peppers.panthers.ap/index.html?eref=sihp

    Uuuummm... I hope Clausen has life insurance. Pep going to go off his rocker this Sunday. I think whomever predicted 3 sacks from him (Dave? or Canada?) this weekend might be right.

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    I predicting 5

  • In reply to Grizzly559:

    Fresno... hahahahaha...

    Fired. Up.

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    Guessing they've heard about Peppers and he'll be lucky to get *one*.

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