Your 2011 Carolina Panthers- How Injuries Mattered

A few days ago Jaxon took a look at Football Outsiders' AGL ranking, or 'Adjusted Games Lost'. Essentially this is a metric that measures the effect of an injury on a team's ability to win a game. The thought is that a team with a high AGL has much greater room for improvement than one with a low AGL.

Today Football Outsiders took their metric a step further, and broke down the AGL by position. Given the Panthers were rated 31st in the NFL it's not surprising to see how this effected many positions, but I was surprised to see just how much this hit the team in some areas.

Wide Receiver and Tight End

This wasn't a big year for WR/TE injuries league wide, yet the Panthers managed to 6th among the bottom eight teams in receiver AGL. The loss of David Gettis, along with other receivers for a game here or there led to a rating of 18.5. Getting more depth in 2012 will help turn this around.

More after the jump

It's important not only to think about this metric in terms of how an injury hurts, but just how far the drop off is between a player and his backup. It's this area we see effect the next few positions.

Offensive Line

Out of the worst 8 AGLs in the NFL the Panthers rated 2nd in the league based on how much OL injuries hurt with a staggering 29.0 rating. This is almost entirely due to the loss of Jeff Otah, and the drop off from him to Byron Bell. It's also important to note that being seven games without Travelle Wharton impacted this also. This should be of major concern for the Panthers in 2012. They are still just one injury away at OG from needing a UDFA, and Jeff Otah remains the hope at RT. If either one of these players falter the Panthers could be in trouble again.

Defensive Front Seven

Ready? Here we go. At the bottom of the NFL with a mind boggling 55.4 we have the defensive front. No single position across the league touches how damaged the defensive line was with Ron Edwards, Terrell McClain and Sione Fua all ending up on injured reserve. It's also curious the rating is so high given that popular opinion is that the defensive line got better when the Panthers relied on Neblett, Kearse and Shirley. It's highly unlikely the DL will be this damaged again, but I want to keep an eye on this rating in a year's time.

What do you think Panthers fans? Where will be biggest gains come in 2012 once the Panthers are healthy again.

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