The Panthers normalized their personnel usage, regressing towards the mean. While there was the usual favor for 11 personnel, Carolina utilized a lot more multi-TE sets. Ben Hartsock saw extended periods of action. One of the other major players, as one would expect, most of the plays ran from 22 personnel occurred late in the fourth quarter as the Panthers ran out the clock. Play-calling from 11 personnel was also much more balanced than normal, the end of half two-minute drill exacerbating the divide between run and pass.
|Personnel||1st half||2nd half|
The read option was again largely ignored, totaling just three carries for a meager 8-yards. I think, in part, its struggles may be linked with a lack of usage. Perhaps, especially so in the last two weeks, the coaches are loathsome to probe a 3-4 front. The more inventive plays, also being the more successful read option plays, have been sheltered by the offensive coaching staff.
On defense Carolina played a solid game blemished by a couple of big plays; a Chris Ivory 35-yard run brought about by a New York motion causing Chase Blackburn to screen Luke Kuechly, and a Geno Smith 35-yard pass where Kuechly over-pursued the tight end.
The Jets were fairly shrewd in their selection of running plays, calling plenty of runs from lighter personnel groups and spread formations against the Panthers nickel defense.
|Front||1st half||2nd half||Total|
Like last week, Carolina ran a lot of man coverage, much more so in the first half this week.
|Front & Coverage||1st half||2nd half||Total|
As the Jets started airing it out in the fourth quarter, Carolina used a lot more nickel zone coverages.
The offense struggled in the red zone against the Jets, scoring one touchdown on five red zone possessions. This has been part of a developing trend that is very concerning for the Panthers. In the last three weeks Carolina has converted just 33%, four of 12, red zone possessions into touchdowns. The Jets were able to hang around into the fourth quarter because the Panthers had to settle for field goals. When competing against a playoff caliber offense Carolina will need to score touchdowns.
A lot of Carolina's struggles in the red zone stem back to Cam Newton's inconsistencies as a red zone passer.
Newton's target on this play is Greg Olsen on the corner route to the pylon. At 6'5" 255 lbs. Olsen is a very tough matchup in this part of the field.
To start, Newton shuffles through his three-step drop demonstrating poor footwork. The quarterback has a clean pocket to step into and set his feet, but he passes it up.
Cyclicly, because Newton doesn't take a hitch-step, he never squares his shoulders to his target. Cam should have his shoulder blades pointed towards his intended target.
Without aiming the pass, or setting his feet, Newton doesn't have very much control on the ball's trajectory as he releases the pass.
As a result, Newton's pass lands in the first row of the cameramen, several yards out of the end zone.
Instead of kicking an extra point, Graham Gano trots onto the field for the 22-yard field goal.
It's nice to want tall, burly 'red zone weapons' for Cam, but a lot of Carolina's red zone passing woes can be mended as Newton improves the consistency of his mechanics in the red zone.