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Panthers 41 Saints 38: Handing Out the Grades

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Here's some key performance grades from the Panthers win over the Saints.

Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports

Let's start with the offense, in which there is a mixture of good and not so good:


  • Cam Newton (+8.0) was terrific, earning his highest grade of the year by a wide margin.  Notably, he was great under pressure (+4.0), when he completed 10 of 14 passes for 154 yards with two touchdowns and no picks (passer rating of 147.0).
  • He doesn’t put up gaudy statistics, but Jerricho Cotchery (+1.0) was solid again in his limited role (played just 27 of 83 offensive snaps).
  • Mike Remmers (-0.8) received a negative grade for the fourth straight week.
  • Although Trai Turner (+0.8) was solid overall, he had his worst game in pass protection (-1.3) as he allowed four hurries.  He had not allowed more than two hurries in a game all season.
  • Greg Olsen is an excellent receiving TE, but continues to struggle with run blocking (-2.1 this week).  He’s only graded positively in the run game once all year.

The Remmers trend is concerning but other than that the line continues to play well enough.


  • Charles Johnson (+2.3) was the top performer on Carolina’s defense.  He registered four QB pressures (one hit and three hurries).
  • For the first time this season, Luke Kuechly (-0.5) graded out negatively.  He made just one stop (solo tackle that constitutes an offensive failure).
  • Despite having a key interception, Kurt Coleman (-2.7) received his worst grade of the season.  He missed three tackles and was responsible for two catches that went for 85 yards and one touchdown.
  • Jared Allen (+1.8) played his best game since joining the Panthers; he was credited with three QB hurries.
  • In his first game as a Panther, Cortland Finnegan (-0.1) was solid.  He played 33 of 64 defensive snaps.
  • Colin Jones was (-0.4) on 9 snaps.

I have to think the Saints somehow schemed away from Kuechly, if that is possible for a MLB.

Cortland Finnegan got on the field quick after Jones allowed the first TD. I don't think Jones saw the field after that play other than on ST.

Special Teams:

  • Graham Gano (+2.9) was once again very good on kickoffs.  Six of his seven kicks went for touchbacks.
  • Brad Nortman (+1.0) was solid.  He pinned one of his three punts inside the 20.

Signature Stats:

  • It’s no secret that Carolina’s receivers have struggled catching the football this year.  Devin Funchess has dropped 6 of 25 catchable balls (24%) and Ted Ginn has dropped 8 of 43 catchable balls (18.6%).  Funchess and Ginn have the second and fourth highest drop rates, respectively, among all NFL receivers.
  • Thomas Davis has rushed the passer on 77 of his 500 snaps (15.4%) and generated 16 total pressures, giving him the fifth highest pass rushing productivity rating among all 4-3 OLBs.

We know drops are going to continue to be a problem but what can you do? We just have to hope they don't drop them as a higher rate.