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.
- 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.
- 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.