I have mentioned this several times since Sunday but one of my biggest concerns from the game was our glacial pace between plays. I thought of watching the game again and counting the time between plays but realized that may cause me to sob myself to sleep. Luckily (I suppose), Football Perspective has taken a closer look at our pace. The article notes how slow we were in the first half and then leads to:
The second half was even worse. The Seahawks had the ball first and last (more on this in a minute), which resulted in Carolina getting just three drives in the second half, and just one fourth quarter drive.
After forcing a Seattle three-and-out to open the second half, punt returner Josh Thomas fumbled, costing the Panthers a possession and valuable field position: even after forcing another three-and-out, Cam Newton and company took over at their own 10-yard line. From there, the Panthers moved like molasses, taking up 4:23 of game time on a six-play drive. How slow is that? The average six-play drive last year took just 2:39, and only 2% of all such drives were as long as the Panthers’ third quarter drive.
While some have offered up that this slow play helps our defense, their fatigue at the end of the game tells a different story. Playing that slow also calls for perfect execution and although Ron Rivera seems to think differently, more plays allow you to correct any errors you make. In other words, one fumble does not have to crush your hope for victory. The glacial pace impedes offensive rhythm so much that is will not matter what routes are run,we are destined to fail.
You may disagree with my viewpoint but I will leave you with one more tidbit from the article:
According to data compiled by Jim Armstrong, the Panthers finished dead last in offensive tempo in week one. Carolina averaged an incredible 35.7 seconds between plays, a full four seconds slower than the next slowest teams (Indianapolis and Cincinnati).
Ask yourself if you really believe that playing that slow each week will lead to successful results. We don't have to be Kelly-lite, but we should at least try to be closer to the 30 second mark. It is a small sample so maybe this is just a bad gameplan and will change. It definitely bears watching though, continued slow play will foretell continued failure.