Tha Sports Junkies 101

Panthers Win Defensive Battle

Defensive Battle Dennis Duszynski via Flickr


Panthers Win Defensive Battle

On Sunday, the Panthers were able to win a defensive battle over the Bills 9-3 in Carolina, thus improving to 2-0. Carolina’s defense single-handedly spoiled Sean McDermott’s homecoming by shutting down Buffalo’s offense.

Panthers Defense Saves The Day

Sean McDermott returned Sunday to face the defense he had coached for the last six years. Watching his offense being held to 176 yards, including 9 rushing yards from McCoy, McDermott has to be missing Carolina. The defense was dominant, per usual, Sunday as they gave Shady McCoy no room to run and Tyrod Taylor nowhere to throw.

The Panthers defense finished with three sacks, giving them back to back multi-sack games. They were aggressive, physical, and fast all game, including on the Bills potential game-winning drive. Carolina displayed their defensive dominance by denying the Bills a red zone visit all game. They will need to play at this level with their offense struggling the way it is.

Cam And The Offense Continue To Struggle

Whenever the final score to a football game is 9-3, it’s easy to see that offense was non-existent. This was the case for both Carolina and Buffalo on Sunday. The Panthers did a good job of moving the ball at times, but they could never seem to finish. Their 0-3 day in the red zone made this evident.

Yet again, Cam Newton wasn’t very sharp. He is still dealing with accuracy issues as he continues to overthrow targets. If he and Ed Dickson could ever get on the same page, this offense wouldn’t be so putrid. Due to Greg Olsen’s injury during the first half, a broken foot, they need to get on the same page now.

Reasons To Worry

The Panthers offense has been mediocre at best in the first two weeks. Cam has been inconsistent and so has the offensive line. Cam was sacked six times on Sunday after not being sacked at all in week one. A majority of the reason for this is that Cam is holding onto the ball for too long.

Greg Olsen will miss 6-8 weeks with a broken foot and this is the last thing Carolina’s offense needs. Olsen, who is easily Cam’s favorite target, left the game in the first half. Following his departure, he seen using crutches on the sideline. Cam has struggled trying to connect with backup tight end Ed Dickson so far. The two will need to fix that considering Dickson will now be the starter.

Reason For Optimism

Carolina’s stifling defense will always keep the Panthers in the game. Honestly speaking, this team loves games like this because it comes down to who has the better defense. The Panthers will win a defensive battle because, more times than not, their defense is better than their opponent’s.

A wonderful surprise for this defense has been how well their secondary has played. Of course, it helps that the pass rush has been phenomenal, but the secondary has played their part. They will get their first real test next week against Drew Brees, however.

Game Balls

It’s hard to pick an offensive player to give the game ball to this week considering their massive struggles. So, the offensive game ball goes to the only person to score, which was Graham Gano. Gano went 3-3 on field goals with his longest being 34 yards.

The defensive game ball goes to veteran Julius Peppers who finished with two sacks and six total tackles. Not much was expected from Peppers when he signed with the Panthers this offseason. Carolina will gladly take any production he brings to the table.

So What’s Next?

The Panthers will stay at home next week as they host division rival New Orleans Saints (0-2).