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The Hog Molly Report: Panthers at Bears

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It was more bad offense for the Panthers again on Sunday against the Chicago Bears, but on the upside, the defense played spectacularly. Let’s examine the respective fronts.

NFL: Carolina Panthers at Chicago Bears Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome ladies and gentlemen to the Hog Molly Report, where winning in the trenches is all that matters. Before we begin, we open with the reciting of our usual motto:

In the spirit of Mr. Gettleman’s words (regardless of him having moved on), and the philosophy of building a team from the inside out, my goal will be to watch the hog mollies each game during the season, and give them a grade based on their performance. This week we will look at the unforgiveable loss to the Chicago Bears. The Panthers dropped to 4-3 on the year, and a lot of the blame can definitely be put squarely on the offensive line, once again.

Offensive Hog Mollies

Yards per Carry: 3.6, season: 3.4 (29th, NFL)

Yards per Play: 4.6, season: 4.9 (23rd, NFL)

Sacks allowed: 5, season: 22 (T-25th, NFL)

Third downs converted: 6 of 15 or 40%, season: 44% (6th, NFL)

Rating: 1 out of 5 Sad Sows

1 out of 5 hogs

Cue the Price is Right failure music folks...

Bum bum b-bum ... whoooommmmmmmmmmmmmmp.

Let’s start this disaster talk with the sack report:

  1. 1st sack... Andrew Norwell fails to recognize the blitzing linebacker in time. Danny Trevathan is untouched sacking Cam Newton. Terrible.
  2. 2nd sack... I'm not even sure Daryl Williams knew the playcall. Blocks no one. Leaves Ed Dickson all alone on the LDE. Tries to peel back and help... too late. Cam sacked.
  3. 3rd sack... might be even more pathetic than the last one. Bears rush four. Panthers initially have SEVEN guys in to protect. Christian McCaffrey and Ed Dickson peel off their blocks to run short routes. But, despite being initially stymied by Trai Turner who turns him loose after another rusher comes in, neither Andrew Norwell or Ryan Kalil can stop Akiem Spence on his way to sacking Cam. Turner did the right thing here, both Norwell and Kalil should have been able to block him. Awful.
  4. 4th sack (negated by hands to face penalty)... Norwell and Turner both get beat, Cam sacked by Turner's man, Pernell McPhee. A guy he should be able to handle.
  5. 4th sack (actual)... Amini Silatolu is immediately beaten, literally devoured by Akiem Hicks. Sack credit goes to Purnell McPhee, but this is 100% on Silatolu. Leave him in Chicago.
  6. 5th sack... was a scramble earlier in the game that technically lost yards.

Matt Kalil’s name doesn’t show up above, but I assure you, he wasn’t doing his job very well either. Sacks that should have gone his way ended up as pressures on some Cam Newton tomfoolery. I hope we left Amini Silatolu in Chicago, because I would rather watch some guy signed off the street play if Trai Turner misses time than watch him constantly fall down. Ryan Kalil was no help today in the short amount of time he played before Tyler Larsen came back in. Andrew Norwell helped give up two sacks, and Daryl Williams just flat out forgot what to do for one play.

This offensive line has no confidence in itself right now. Hell, the entire offense appears to have very little. It is time to fire Mike Shula. I’ve had enough of watching this nearly every week.

Defensive Hog Mollies

Yards per Carry: 2.4, season: 3.7 (T-7th, NFL)

Yards per Play: 4.6, season: 4.8 (7th, NFL)

Sacks given: 4, season: 24 (T-2nd, NFL)

Third down stop %: 2 of 11 or 18%, season: 35% (T-9th, NFL)

Rating: 5 out of 5 Scowling Swine

5 out of 5 hogs

The numbers above by the defense are staggering, and it marks the third game this season that they have held an opponent to three points. The most incredible stat is that they were able to sack Mitchell Trubisky four times on only eleven dropbacks. The Bears had no answer for a dominant front that was clicking on all cylinders. All starters and all rotational players were effective on this particular afternoon. This is impressive given the success that the Bears have had running the football this year, and what they have been able to get going with multi-tool Tarik Cohen at multiple spots. He did hurt the Panthers for one long play on an occasion that the line failed to pressure, but the overall effort was just absolutely great.

Special shoutout to the combo of Vernon Butler and Kyle Love, who have been excellent on the interior this year in their rotational roles. Love’s one sack was a combined effort by him and Butler closing in on Trubisky straight up the gut.

Honorary Hog Molly: Kelvin Benjamin

Stats: 3 receptions, 65 yards, 0 TD

Rating: 3 out of 5 Squeaky Hog Flies

3 out of 5 hogs

Kelvin Benjamin didn’t see a lot of opportunities come his way during the game, but when he did it was a mixed bag. He was called once for offensive pass interference, and had one contested catch that got tipped up in the air for an interception. These types of things will occur from time to time, and his stats are going to continue to suffer while the offensive line struggles mightily.

Fire Mike Shula.

Hog Molly of the Week: Mario Addison

This week we saw a complete game out of Mario Addison, the type of game that is encouraging in his quest to become a three down defensive end. Mario tightened up his game in run support, and ended up notching a sack on one of Trubisky’s rare dropbacks. On multiple occasions we saw him set a hard edge on runs that were supposed to go outside, which ended in an inside cutback into the waiting arms of a tackle or linebacker. He also flowed well down the line of scrimmage when the play went to the other side, and that resulted in excellent backside contain. Backs like Jordan Howard can eat you up if you don’t shutdown the cutback. Excellent work.