Now that we've completed two games we can use the current Panthers stats and rankings to track the Panthers progress from 2010 through week 2 of 2011. Starting with the offense, its been a remarkable turnaround:
Panthers Offense NFL Rankings
|2011 - Wk2||2010|
|Total Offense (YPG)||476||2||258||32||+218 YPG|
|Passing (YPG)||403||2||143||32||+260 YPG|
|Rushing (YPG)||72||29||115||13||-43 YPG|
|Scoring Points/Game||22||18||12||32||+10 PPG|
|Sacks Allowed/Game||4.0||29||3.1||31||+.9 SPG|
|3rd Down % Conversion||38%||20||30%||32||+8%|
Though it's only two games for any team to finish one season ranked dead last and then to be the #2 ranked offense overall is quite the improvement, more than we could have ever imagined. The total yards and passing numbers speak for themselves. If you were qualifying the week 1 results with 'Well it's was the Cards defense' the fact the numbers improved in week 2 against the Super Bowl champ Packers certainly makes that a false argument.
Yet there is obviously room for improvement. The red zone performance and resulting kicking of FGs instead of scoring TDs leaves plenty to work on. We obviously have some work to do on 3rd down efficiency though its improved from last season.
I'm not so worried about the run game as most. Whether a RB gets 100 yards via the pass versus the run doesn't bother me given the overall total is #2 in the NFL. Was does concern me though is the recent inability to score once inside the five yard, which can be attributed to a lack of confidence in the running game in those scenarios. The only effective scoring play via the run so far has been Newton on the QB keeper. Given the added hits to the QB those plays can give I hope that is not the only effective option for scoring via the run going forward. I'd much rather see the Panthers at least try to score via a hand off to Williams, Stewart or even new FB Jerome Felton.
We'll look at defense and special teams in a forthcoming post...