FanPost

Can our defense get off the field?


I was reading some NFL.com stats on team defenses in 2008.  The thing that jumped out at me was this:

http://www.nfl.com/stats/categorystats?archive=false&conference=null&role=OPP&offensiveStatisticCategory=null&defensiveStatisticCategory=TOTAL_YARDS&season=2008&seasonType=REG&tabSeq=2&qualified=true&Submit=Go

If you'll look at how the Panthers did last year in 3rd down defense, we allowed our opponents 87 conversions, out of 219 3rd down attempts -- a 40% ratio, ranking us a middle-of-the-pack 17th in the league.

But that was the old system.  Now we are playing the new Ron Meeks system, which IMO is another variation of the bend, don't break startegy.  So I looked at how the Colts, his former team did.  Ouch.  They allowed 100 1st down conversions, out of 211 3rd downs -- a whopping 47%, the worst in the league.

Does anyone besides me worry that this soft zone we've seen so far in the pre-season might translate to a whole lot of yards surrendered -- or worse, that it keeps our powerful offense off the field too long?

I will note that the Colts, despite the above, allowed slightly fewer total yards than the Panthers in '08, and 2 fewer PPG than we did -- but giving up too many 3rd down conversions, because of the system you play, is a concern to me.

Or am I worried over nothing?

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