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The Offensive Panthers Offensive Line

There have been a lot of ideas thrown out there about how to fix the Panthers' offense.  Let's put Armanti in the Wildcat.  Let's run no-huddle all game.  Let's start the rookie QB!

How about... Let's fix our offensive line.

Normally, I try to write this up eloquently and try to make a convincing point through speech...  Today, I don't feel like it.  Here's the stats I'm looking at (courtesy of Football Outsiders):

RUN BLOCKING PASS PROTECTION
Year Adj. Line
Yards
RB
Yards
Power
Success
Power
Rank
Stuffed Stuffed
Rank
2nd Level
Yards
2nd Level
Rank
Open Field
Yards
Open Field
Rank
Year Rank Sacks Adjusted
Sack Rate
2008 4.26 5.01
79% 1 19% 18 ------- ------- ------- -------
2008 9 20 5.0%
2009 4.03 4.93
67% 11
22% 23
1.40
1 1.31
2 2009
17 33 6.5%
2010 3.32 3.56 55% 25 23% 24
0.89 30 0.74 16 2010 31
21 8.6%

* - "2nd Level Yards" and "Open Field Yards" are new stats as of 2009.  In 2008, there were only "10+ Yards %" and "10+ Yards Ranks" of which the Panthers were 1st with 27%.  The Giants were 2nd with 25%.

So yes, that's right.  In 2010, we have given up more sacks already than over the entire course of 2008.  The drop off started in 2009.  The RB yards only changed 0.08 yards, but the Power Run success dropped from 79% to 67%.  For those unaware, "Power Run Success" is defined as a any play for 2 yards or less that converts for a first down (only for 3rd or 4th down situations) or a touchdown.  To me however, the most alarming drop off is in pass protection.  From 5% sack rate in 2008 to an 8.6% sack rate in 2010, we went from one of the best pass protectors to one of the worst in 2 short years.  That probably explains why our passing game is so abysmal...

But what is going on with the run game?  Well...here's a closer look at our running plays breakdown:

LEFT END LEFT TACKLE MID/GUARD RIGHT TACKLE RIGHT END
Year ALY Rank ALY Rank ALY Rank ALY Rank ALY Rank
2008 4.14 19 4.08 17 4.26 11 4.60 4 4.19 11
2009 4.05
21
4.92
5
3.98 22
3.57
27
3.53 26
2010 2.96 26 2.19 31 3.39 28
3.40 27 3.83 19

*ALY - Adjusted Line Yards - Here's how that works.  Losses are 120% of the value, gains of 0-4 yards are 100%, 5-10 yards, 100%, and 11+ yards are 0%. And then the average is taken of the runs from these 5 directions.

In 2010, we are worse in every single category, but most glaringly on runs to the left side, both off Left End and Left Tackle.  That to me is the most surprising of all.  Jordan Gross is our anchor on Left Tackle, but this represents the biggest drop off of any place on the offensive line.  But I'm not ready to say that Jordan Gross is the issue here.  He may be a little rusty, but there was no major drop off when he went down last year with a broken leg.  The only explanation I could come up with is the loss of Brad Hoover.

One last bit of stats on our run game is the breakdown on the percentages of runs we have in specific directions:

Year RB
Carries
LEFT
END
LEFT
TACKLE
MID/
GUARD
RIGHT
TACKLE
RIGHT
END
2008 475 12% 10% 54% 13% 10%
2009 491 10% 15% 52% 14% 9%
2010 160 8% 14% 56% 18% 5%

* - Numbers don't add up to 100% due to some runs having "no direction" (i.e. stuffed behind line of scrimmage)

Doesn't anyone find it somewhat suspicious that there is no major difference in the play calling spread?  We have always ran the ball up the middle (~54% of the time).  We don't run off Left or Right end often (~10% Left, 8% Right).  And we never have really.  It's hypocritical for us to chastise the offensive play calling at times like these when nothing is working and yet not raise the same complaints when they were working before.  No one complained about the number of runs we had going up the middle before because the runs were working.  Those plays were our bread and butter, but they no longer are because our offensive line is not a strength of this team.

 

So does Jeff Otah's absence make that big of a difference?  He most certainly does.  So does losing Keydrick Vincent, Geoff Hangartner, and Jeremy Bridges over the last few years.  If we are a power run team, and we can't run the ball, it doesn't matter who lines up under center, which backs we have in the back field, or what our play calling is going to be.

 

We need to fix the offensive line first.  That should be our priority.

Also, don't ask me what's up with the tables. They should all look the same but they don't and I can't quite figure out why. I blame the blog =P

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