Eagles 14 Panthers 9: Inside the Gamebook

John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports

Here's a summary of the key team stats from the Panthers loss to the Eagles in preseason game #2.

Honestly there is not too much on the positive side in a loss like this so you can expect this to be more negative than positive. The question is what can we / the Panthers learn from this game and turn it around next week against the defending SB champ Ravens.

3rd Down Efficiency: Panthers 4/14 = 29%; Eagles 7/13 = 54%

That's pretty poor on both sides of the ball and leads to one tired defense when you add in the impact of the Eagles hurry up offense.

Turnovers: Panthers 0 Eagles 3

One of the few positives from the game from a team stat perspective. It was the turnovers by the defense that kept the Panthers in this game. It was the offense's inability to sustain drives that kept them from winning.

Penalties: Panthers 6 for 40 yards

Most of the penalties were minor with only the Mitchell late hit on the QB being the a painful one. That enabled the Eagles to start a long drive after being pinned back by a nice Nortman punt. Instead it took Josh Thomas' endzone INT to bail out Mitchell.

Yards per Rush: Panthers 3.0 Eagles 5.2

Though the Panthers did attempt to run the ball more this week (25 attempts) they did not do it very effectively. The Eagles on the other hand ran it pretty good when McCoy was in the game. The Eagles ability to run helped them equal the Panthers in time of possession. Both lines need to work on this immediately.

Red Zone Efficiency: Panthers 0-2 = 0%; Eagles 2/3 = 67%

The Panthers inability to score touchdowns when inside the 20 yard line was the difference in this game. The Eagles on the other hand were able to finish their drives. In case you forgot what happened on those two drives here's a summary:

4:35 in the 2nd Qtr the Panthers were 1st and 10 at the Eagles 15 yard line:

  • Williams runs right side for 4 yards
  • Poole runs up the middle for 2 yards
  • Newton short pass incomplete to Smith on right side

9:49 in the 3rd Qtr the Panthers were 1st and 10 at the Eagles 16 yard line:

  • Poole up the middle for 2 yards
  • Anderson short pass right incomplete to Gettis
  • Anderson short pass right incomplete to Gettis

In both cases the Panthers did not even attempt to pass into the end zone. It's these observations that continue to worry me about Mike Shula and his play calling. I just don't get why they ran up the middle in both cases, when they could have done a play action pass into the end zone.

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