This first one is a key stat the Panthers needed to improve upon this season and they did pretty good in this first game.
3rd Down Conversions: Panthers 8-17-47% Jaguars 3-12-25%
The Panthers offensive scoring drives were 14, 12 and 15 play drives. Ironically the two times the Panthers started in Jacksonville territory they missed FGs.
Red Zone Efficiency: Panthers 1-3-33% Jaguars 1-3-33%
A Panthers weakness in 2014 they did not show much improvement in week 1. On the two drives resutling in missed FGs the Panthers seemed content to settle for the Fg try when gifted great field position versus going for the jugular. I should preface that comment that the first missed FG was preceded by the Ted Ginn drop that would have been a sure TD.
Time of Possession: Panthers 34:06 Jaguars 25:54
Even though the Jaguars ran the ball better than the Panthers (4.6 Jags v 3.0 Panthers ypc) the Panthers ran it fourteen more times than the Jaguars (21 v 35). Otherwise it was a very even game overall yard wise (265 v 263) and average gain per offensive play (4.0 v 3.9). One difference though was the Panthers ability to get more from their passing game, averaging 4.8 yards per pass play v 3.8 for the Jags.
Here's a look at some key snap counts to give us a feel for how the Panthers were rotating players.
Players Getting 100% of Offensive Plays (71): Newton, Olsen and four of the starting 5 lineman. Trai Turner went out for one play after getting dinged but quickly returned.
That is always a good thing as continuity is key.
Jonathan Stewart was in on 70% of the plays getting 22 touches (18 rush, 4 rec)
Tolbert 19 plays, Fozzy 12 and CAP 4
Philly Brown was in on 54 snaps but received only 4 targets and 2 receptions.
Ted Ginn got 43 snaps, 7 targets but only 2 receptions
Jerricho Cotchery was the most efficient WR of the bunch. He caught 4 of 6 targets on only 31 snaps.
Devin Funchess caught one of two targets in 26 snaps. It wasn't quite the splash first game like Benjamin had in last season's opener.
Moving to the defense, only two players played 100% of the snaps (67): LB Davis and FS Coleman.
Wow, Kurt Coleman has really relegated Tre Boston to the bench as Boston only got in on 4 snaps all day. CB Josh Norman only missed one play while Sa Roman Harper only missed 4 plays.
Dwan Edwards ended up getting more snaps than starter Kyle Love (43 v 25). Kawann Short played 39 snaps versus Colin Cole's 15.
At defensive end the starters led the way with CJ getting 52 snaps and Ealy 41. Addison got his 2 sacks in only 31 snaps. Wes Horton played 22 snaps, more than I would have thought.
Obviously had Kuechly not gotten concussed he would have played every snap. AJ Klein picked up his snaps. Rookie Shaq Thompson only received 17 snaps in spite of getting the start. So it's safe to say that even after Kuechly went out of the game the Panthers continued to play more nickel coverage with 3 CBs versus 3 safeties or a straight 4-3 look.
As I just mentioned the Panthers played 5 DB formations for the majority of the game. As I said Coleman got all 67 snaps, Norman missed one snap and Harper only missed a handful (63), CBs Tillman got 54 and Benwikere 52 respectfully.