Panthers 31 Bucs 13: Inside the Gamebook

Al Messerschmidt

Let's take a look at some of the key stats from the Panthers solid victory over the 0-7 Bucs.

As James pointed out this morning there really is very little to dislike about the game as a Panther fan. Let's start on the offensive side of the ball:

Offense

3rd Down Efficiency: 5/12 (42%) It's not a great 3rd down performance but when you combine with a 5.2 yard average gain per play you see why the Panthers were able to extend their drives. Plus they were 5 for 7 in the 1st half when the game was still being decided.

Red Zone Efficiency: 4/5 (80%) That is an incredible TD percentage and the main reason the Panthers put this one away early in the 4th quarter.

Cam Newton Passing Stats: 23 for 32 for 221 yards and 2 TDs; 111 QB Rating. It's not a 130 rating like the last two games but its still a very nice day for the 3rd year QB. He did take 3 sacks for a 26 yard total loss but he protected the football even when under pressure. His 5.6 yards per pass attempt is nothing to crow about but its still pretty good.

FB Mike Tolbert averaged 5.0 yards per carry on 7 carries and caught all 4 of his pass targets for another 29 yards (7.3 ypc). More evidence we need to get this guy the ball more.

WR Ted Ginn caught 5 balls for 80 yards (16.0 ypc) including a sweet 35 yarder  on 3rd down and 3 that then led to the Panthers 2nd TD on the next play. Ginn was one of the keys to the offense early in the game.

Penalties: 6 for 59 yards might seem bad but the Panthers only had one penalty in the first half when the game was still in the balance. Tolbert got a 15 yarder for hands to the face on their first drive but then got bailed out by Revis on a touchy PI call. The Panthers eventually scored to take a 7 point lead. The majority of the penalties happened int he 4th quarter after the game was already out of reach for the Bucs.

Average Drive Starting Point: Panthers 24 yd line; Bucs 18 yd line...the punt team did a great job pinning the Bucs back.

Turnovers: Zero! That needs to be emphasized.

Defense

Now turning to the defense here's the first number that jumps off the page at me.

Rushing Yards Allowed: 48 yards on 11 carries (3.4 ypc)... The Panthers racked up 7 tackles for loss to go with 3 sacks for 26 yards lost. With Doug Martin out and the Bucs getting in an early hole this might have been expected but it's still a very low number given it means they only had four carries that gained positive yardage.

3rd Down Efficiency Allowed: 4 for 14 (29%) The defense did a pretty good job of getting off of the field.

4th Down Efficiency Allowed: 0 for 2 (0%) The defense stood tall when the Bucs laid it on the line in the 4th quarter

Red Zone Efficiency Allowed: 1/2 (50%) Holding the Bucs to two FG's while scoring TDs on offense is just what the doctor ordered.

DE Charles Johnson collected 2 sacks, 2 tackles, 2 QB hurries and 2 tackles for loss. He gave the Bucs RT Dotson all he could handle.

LB Thomas Davis registered 7 combined tackles, 2 tackles for loss and 3 passes defensed. TD is playing lights out in all phases of the game but especially in pass coverage.

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