There is no denying the Panthers defense was the Achilles Heel of the team last season. This latest offseason detailed analysis by Football Outsider's of broken tackles allowed by defensive players seems to highlight one of their key weaknesses. As you can see the Panther defense was tied for the 3rd worst team in giving up broken tackles in 2011. The best team was the Super Bowl champ NY Giants. Coincidence maybe?
We all know S Sherrod Martin struggled in 2011 and this stat seems to reinforce part of why he did have a lousy year. Martin tied for 6th worse with 12 broken tackles for a 18% broken tackle rate (against 55 solo tackles). Yet our other free safety Charles Godfrey was just behind Martin with 11 on 68 solo stops (14%). Yet going by broken tackle rate Martin was joined in the top 5 by CB Chris Gamble, who had 9 broken tackles against only 41 solo tackles (18%).
We have some LBs on the list as well, which we will review... after the jump...
Hat tip to Ace of Sween for posting this first on CSR via fanshot.
Two Panther LB's made the list of those with the best rate of broken tackles among LB's. Dan Conner and Jordan Senn each were only faulted with one broken tackle each for rates under 2%. Congrats to those two guys! The stats bear out what we intuitively knew from watching them play.
Also notice in the tables for DBs that two former Panthers show in the top 10 of best broken tackle rates: S Chris 'Hitman' Harris and CB Richard 'Dick' Marshall. Harris has always been guilty of going for the big hit or trying to strip the ball so I'm sure that led to some broken tackles. Marshall on the other hand played such a soft cushion he often simply set up for the tackle rather than try and make a play of the ball.
I find it interesting that most of the top 10 DBs in the table are not be name shut down corner types. I would imagine is that being able to make plays on the ball can likewise increase the risk of not being in position to make a play on the ball and therefore allow a broken tackle.