Panthers Special Teams Rewind

We've covered both the offense and defense in depth in the Jets loss. I thought I would do the same for special teams. They were after all big contributors to the loss. Let me say first we have no problem with the kicking game. Both our FG kicker (Kasay) and punter (Baker) are kicking well. The liability is with the return and coverage units. So I reviewed each play and have the detail after the jump. First I'll give you the summary and my thoughts on the analysis:

Unit Good Play Bad Play Push
KO Coverage 2 0 0
KO Return 1 2 1
PR Coverage 4 1 3
PR Return 2 4 3
Total 9 7 7

Analysis:

  • The Panthers coverage units were not bad outside of the one long punt return.
  • Captain Munnerlyn was easily the best PR on the day
  • Mike Goodson doesn't show the ability to read blocks well enough yet to be an effective KR
  • Take away the four times the Panthers put the ball on the ground during PRs and you have a only 3 bad plays in 23 total

This came out better than I expected and shows our ST's return game is what really needs improvement and the other aspects are doing fairly well. We look to be getting good coverage on punts, a big thanks to Jason Baker. KOS Todd Carter booted both his KO into the end zone. Huge kicks for him as he has struggled at times in camp. Though Captain Munnerlyn may never lead the NFL in punt returns he seems the most trustworthy back there and he has the guts for the job.

There's the detail on how I rated each play. It's nothing fancy so I'm sure someone will disagree with what I called good versus push versus bad. No problem if you do, give me your take and I might agree.

Detail by kick or return (23):

Opening Kick Off Return - At first I thought Goodson made a bad decision to cut outside of his closest blocker (#36). An inside move looked open but then I see why he hesitated. Jets #30 was knifing in from the outside and had a clear shot since Panthers #61 whiffed on him. #33 pushed him out at the 15. (Bad)

1st PR Edwards - You can't fault Pugh for touching the ball, he was set up where he needed to be. Edwards should have charged the ball and covered it up. (Bad)

2nd KO Return - Goodson kneels for a TB (Push)

2nd PR Edwards - Muffs it badly (Bad)

3rd KO McClain - Fielded at the fifteen McClain returns it 16 yds to the 31. (Good)

1st PR Coverage - Baker kicks it into the end zone, TB (Push)

2nd PR Coverage - Baker boots it 60 yds and the Jets return it 5 yds to the 50 (Good)

3rd PR Munnerlyn - Muffs it out of bounds at the 12 (Bad)

3rd PR Coverage - Taken by Jets 15 Taylor at Jets 25, Panthers get 3 players down quick, middle guy Sutton trips him up after 10 yds. (Push)

4th PR Munnerlyn - Captain fields it at the 15 takes 2 steps right then cuts straight up past the first man; he then stiff arms the second would be tackler and beats a 3rd guy to the corner but gets pushed out for a 10 yd punt return. (Good)

4th PR Coverage - Fielded at 18 Panther with dreads runs past the ball carrier, who sprints right for a nice game, but a penalty on the Jets negates it (Good)

5th PR Munnerlyn - Field at 19 cuts right and takes it up to the 40 where he stops, jukes around a pile of guys and bulls his way for an additional 3 yards (LaFell needs to watch that). Total was 24 yds (Good)

2nd Half

1st KO Coverage - Smoothie boots it into the end zone deep for a TB (Sweet) (Good)

2nd KO coverage - Smoothie boots another deep into the end zone, TB

5th PR Coverage - Fair catch called, TB (Good)

6th PR Moore - Falls down after fielding the pun at the 40, makes a nice move to avoid the first tackler but after 12 yds takes a shot on the ball and fumbles, Jets recover. (Bad)

3rd KO Return Goodson - From 2 yds deep goes straight to 10 then cuts right, gets hit and turned around, tries to go the other way only to get tackled at the 4 yd line (Bad)

5th PR Coverage - Jets McKnight fields at 24 and slices up the right side across 50 the cuts left for 67 yds until dragged down at  9 yd line. Rosario whiffed, 40 over pursued and Ivy had his tackle broken. 83 makes tackle. (bad)

6th PR Coverage - Field at Panther 43, cuts left but cut down by 82 & 83 for a 1 yd gain (Good)

7th PR Witherspoon - Fair catch (Push)

7th PR Coverage - Fielded at 18, 15 and 83 down first but over pursue to the outside and allow run up middle for 12 yds. Eventually tackled by Hudson (Push)

8th PR - Out of bounds (Push)

9th PR - TB (Push)

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