clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Panthers 16 Texans 10: The Hog Molly report

New, comments

The Hog Molly report is ready following the week four victory over the Houston Texans, and all is well in the land of the big pigs.

NFL: Carolina Panthers at Houston Texans Thomas B. Shea-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 keeping with the proven philosophy that building a team from the inside out is the best strategy for long term success, 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 Carolina Panthers impressive week four victory over the Houston Texans. The defense continues to be absolutely on fire, especially up front, while the offense sputtered a little bit... but to no real fault of the hog mollies. Let’s take a closer look inside the game film and see what we find.

Offensive Hog Mollies

Yards per Carry: 3.4 Season: 4.3 (14th, NFL)

Yards per Play: 4.8 Season: 5.4 (21st, NFL)

QB Hits allowed: 6 Season: 21 (T-14th, NFL)

Sacks allowed: 3 Season: 11 (T-21st, NFL)

Third downs converted: 7 of 14, or 50% Season: 39% (T-17th, NFL)

Rating: 4 out of 5 Petulant Porkers

4 out of 5 hogs

The Carolina Panthers offensive line performed a little better while fielding their optimal offensive tackle configuration of Greg Little and Taylor Moton while Daryl Williams filled in at right guard for the injured Trai Turner. Pass protection was greatly improved, and believe it or not, Little performed better in the run game than I expected.

There are more than a couple “green” off tackle runs to the left there, and that is an encouraging sign for our line’s future. Granted, the Texans opted to line up J.J. Watt over Taylor Moton most of the day, but still.. that is a tough front to both protect against and run on. Good job for the hogs.

Here’s your pressure report:

Here’s your sack report:

Q1 12:13. 1st & 10, HOU 24 - Taylor Moton gets stuck with a 1 on 1 in wide open space with Brennan Scarlett as the Texans drop eight and rush three. There is an open field in front of Kyle Allen, but he climbs the “pocket” a little late in this case. Scarlett is able to shed his block and make the sack for no gain, but Allen commits his first fumble of the day. This is a situation where Allen could have helped Moton by escaping on a different angle.

Q2 4:27. 2nd & 10, HOU 34 - Texans rush four, Greg Little doesn’t get his split with Greg Van Roten quite right and as a result Whitney Mercilus is able to get the edge on him. Kyle Allen does not have a pocket to step up into and tries to escape right. He does not, and Mercilus catches him for a sack and his second fumble. The sack is 100% on Greg Little despite what Pro Football Focus has to say about it, but Allen should have secured the football the moment he felt that pressure.

Q3 10:34. 2nd & 8, CAR 34 - Texans rush four, Kyle Allen takes too deep a drop and then does not climb the pocket into the spot vacated by Taylor Moton and J.J. Watt. Moton did what he was supposed to do on this rep, Kyle Allen failed and fumbled yet again. I refuse to credit Moton with this sack as Watt gets an arm on Allen’s throwing hand.

Overall, the offensive line could have done a little better protecting Kyle Allen, but Allen could have done them a lot more favors with heightened pocket awareness. Then again, that is usually lacking in young backup quarterbacks, they simply don’t have the experience to work the pocket like their veteran counterparts. In the end though, Allen has GOT to get his fumbling problem under control. You’re going to get sacked in the NFL, and you cannot let every single one turn into a potential turnover. If a healthy Cam Newton played behind this protection, this game would have likely been a very one-sided rout.

Defensive Hog Mollies

Yards per Carry: 6.2 Season: 4.9 (T-27th, NFL)

Yards per Play: 4.7 Season: 4.3 (2nd, NFL)

Sacks given: 6 Season: 18 (T-1st, NFL)

Third down allowed %: 4 of 11, or 36% Season: 42% (22nd, NFL)

Rating: 5 out of 5 Boss Hogs

5 out of 5 hogs

The Carolina Panthers continued their dominance against the pass by adding a whopping SIX sacks to their season total, much to the chagrin of Deshaun Watson and his Houston Texans brethren. Tallying fourteen sacks in two weeks of football puts this unit into uber-elite territory, and officially ties them for most sacks in the NFL with the New England Patriots.

Mario Addison again led the way with two, followed by Bruce Irvin and Shaq Thompson with one a piece, and we even had a Vernon Butler sighting at a critical moment, where he charged through the line and blew up Watson for a critical late game sack fumble. Brian Burns was once again the terror that he has been all season long, officially credited with a half sack, but produced a litany of QB Hits and pressures leading to opportunities for his running mates, and got his hand on his second punt of the year.

However, for all the great things this team is doing harassing the quarterback, run defense continues to be this team’s Achilles heel. They allowed another 100 yard effort to one of the worst rushing attacks in the league, and it is eventually going to cost them a big moment or two. Still, it’s a nice relief not to be thrown on all the time, and if we are sacrificing the run to make every quarterback we face fear for their lives... I think it’s a fair trade.

Hog Molly of the Week: Greg Little

Greg Little shined in his first NFL start against a very good Houston Texans front, not allowing a sack (according to PFF) and scoring a very high pass protection grade of 89.5 per Pro Football Focus.

I disagree that Little didn’t allow a sack, I thought the second sack of Kyle Allen was pretty clearly a result of him under-setting and getting beaten to the edge (evidenced by him and Greg Van Roten colliding). Regardless of that difference in opinion, it’s better left tackle play than we have seen all year for certain, and probably since Michael Oher was playing the blind side. Little also wasn’t the liability in the run game that his college tape had led us to believe, and that equates to a feeling of hope that we haven’t had at the left tackle spot in a very long time.