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Panthers at Packers: Handing Out the Grades, Defense

Here's part 2 of what will be a weekly series going forward in which we review the performance grades handed out by Pro Football Focus. PFF has teamed up with SBN to provide additional stats and data from their game analysis. You can check out the offense's grades here.

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Mike McGinnis

We give Kuechly plenty of praise on this site so I think it's fair to discuss arguably the worst game of his career:

Luke Kuechly, LB, -4.5

Breakdown: Continuing his streak of back-to-back great performances followed by back-to-back duds, Kuechly performance pendulum swung back into the red in Green Bay. His most memorable play may be his being his controversial ejection late in the third, but in reality he looked like a liability rather than the centerpiece of this defense, at times appearing lost in coverage.

Signature Play: Q2, 7:24. A scrambling Rodgers found Randall Cobb three yards past the markers with Kuechly in position to make a tackle for minimal yardage after the catch. A sharp cutback though left Kuechly in the dust, allowing Cobb 30 more yards as he reversed field for a considerable gain.

The Green Bay WRs were juking Panthers all day. He wasn't alone in that regard:

Charles Godfrey, CB, -5.0

Breakdown: The poster child of Carolina’s much-maligned secondary, Godfrey’s struggles mirrored that of the entire unit. He didn’t surrender quite as many yards as Antoine Cason’s 131, but he edged out Cason’s poor play with a trio of missed tackles.

Signature Play: Q3, 11:02. Meeting Cobb one yard short of the line to gain and able to force a punt with a clean tackle, Godfrey instead over pursued the shifty wideout who then slipped another tackler before skirting up the sideline.

Funny that Godfrey was a better tackler as a safety than a CB (or am I not remembering that correctly?). It might be time to get Robert Lester back in there.

Additional stats from Joe Velardo from PFF:


  • For the second consecutive week only 2 players graded out in the green. 10 graded out red.
  • The 2 green grades were AJ Klein (+1.7) to lead the team, and Thomas Davis (1.2).
  • Kawann Short with his lowest grade of the year (-0.2) and his first negative grade this year.
  • 1 sack by Davis and 1 sack by Charles Johnson, but the team as a whole only provided 1 additional pressure on the day.
  • Johnson played 43 snaps, and Kony Ealy 19 snaps at LE. At RE Wes Horton played 31 snaps, Mario Addison played 29.

It would appear teams know if they get the ball out quickly they will destroy us. We are getting so much less pressure this year plus giving up those long plays in both the run and passing game. So much to fix with 9 games left in the regular season.


  • Only AJ Klein was positive in coverage (+0.6) while 3 players graded out in the red.
  • Charles Godfrey had a rough day in the slot, covering Randall Cobb and Davante Adams he gave up a combined 5 catches on 5 targets for 62 yards and 2 TDs for a (-5.0) grade.
  • Cason had an equally bad day giving up 5 catches on 5 targets for 131 yards, a 59 yard TD to Jordy Nelson, and surrendered a perfect 158.3 QB Rating when targeted.
  • Antoine Cason and Melvin White with 62 snaps, Charles Godfrey 39, James Dockery 8.

Can the Godfrey experiment at slot CB be over please? I guess we will need our 4th round rookie CB back before that happens.