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 redeeming week three victory over the Arizona Cardinals on their home turf. This was a significantly better performance for both fronts, though neither was without their foibles early on. In the end, particularly in the second half, it was a convincing effort by the hogs.
Offensive Hog Mollies
Yards per Carry: 5.6 Season: 4.6 (T-11th, NFL)
Yards per Play: 7.2 Season: 5.7 (15th, NFL)
QB Hits allowed: 5 Season: 15 (T-12th, NFL)
Sacks allowed: 2 Season: 8 (T-20th, NFL)
Third downs converted: 4 of 10, or 40% Season: 34% (22nd, NFL)
Rating: 4 out of 5 Redeemed Racks of Ribs
The Carolina Panthers offensive line performed a lot better on Sunday than they did in their last horrendous outing on Thursday Night Football, not that that would take much. Daryl Williams was still not very good, this time giving up four pressures and one sack in a timeshare at left tackle with rookie Greg Little. When Little was in at left tackle, things were vastly improved, and this is as good a time as any to let the rookie build on a great performance. I see no logical reason whatsoever for the Carolina Panthers to continue starting Daryl Williams at left tackle. But be prepared to see the illogical reason that Rivera loves entitled “Because vets yo.”
Here’s your pressure report:
Done re-watching #Panthers at #Cardinals for the #HogMollyReport and the OL was improved this week. Pressure counts:— Erik Sommers #Panthers (@Tater596) September 25, 2019
Moton 1 + 1sk
Daryl Williams continues to be burned by speed rushers, the OL was much more stable with Greg Little in at LT. #HMR
Here’s your sack report:
Q1 10:55. 3rd & 5, ARI 15 - Taylor Moton gets caught flat-footed off the snap of the ball, and Chandler Jones makes him pay on the speed rush. Moton can never quite regain the edge, and Kyle Allen is sacked and fumble. Panthers lose possession.
Q4 9:03. 3rd & 5, CAR 37 - Daryl Williams is inexplicably let back into the game to play left tackle again, and gives up a speed rush sack to Chandler Jones. This forces another fumble, but it falls back into Kyle Allen’s lap.
Daryl Williams is now responsible for 5.5 of the 8 sacks allowed by the Carolina Panthers this year. That’s inexcusable in my book, and now you have a rookie that put in a nice performance in the same spot for half a game in Greg Little. I say it is clearly time to let the rookie start a game and let him prove it for four quarters. Kyle Allen will thank you. As to the rest of the line, Greg Van Roten and Matt Paradis seem to be communicating better, and the right side continued it’s excellence in this one, save one sack allowed by Taylor Moton.
Credit for Christian McCaffrey’s 76-yard touchdown run right up the middle goes straight to the offensive line. Paradis and Turner block down beautifully off the snap while Greg Van Roten pulls and assists Chris Manhertz and Taylor Moton to seal the right side. Greg Olsen gets just enough of a piece at the second level to leave McCaffrey alone on a safety... and at that point, goodbye.
Defensive Hog Mollies
Yards per Carry: 5.5 Season: 4.6 (20th, NFL)
Yards per Play: 3.8 Season: 4.3 (2nd, NFL)
Sacks given: 8 (!!!) Season: 12 (T-3rd, NFL)
Third down allowed %: 9 of 17, or 53% Season: 44% (T-22nd, NFL)
Rating: 5 out of 5 Punishing Pork Rinds
The Carolina Panthers continued their red hot streak of getting pressure on the opposing quarterback, en route to a near franchise record EIGHT sack outing. This is particularly impressive when you consider the mobility of a quarterback like Kyler Murray, but the Panthers are uniquely equipped to counter that speed with some quick guys of their own. Brian Burns, Christian Miller, and Mario Addison all showed relentless pursuit and second effort in containing and chasing down Murray, and the fourth quarter just became an all out sack party. All this was accomplished without the consistent pocket collapsing ability of Kawann Short, and that is a pretty phenomenal feat.
Where the team continues to fall short unfortunately, is stopping the run. Whether that be a quarterback, running back, wide receiver... doesn’t matter, there have been very few run stuffs this year and the team’s ranking in the NFL continues to fall as a result. Sunday, Kyler Murray introduced his legs to the NFL, and at least in the first half, he was having his way with us.
That inability to stop the run has led to worse than average third down conversion stop percentages, and this is the area our team needs to work on the most. You can see that our pass defense is solid, given the amount of sacks and near league-low yards per play average. We are preventing big plays, but we are allowing teams to grind out long drives on us. This front needs to assert itself against an anemic rushing attack in Houston.
The Panthers have one of the most exciting defensive fronts in football, and as the youth continues to get wiser I predict it will only get better. This year, every single member of the line is doing their part and putting in the work, from starters to rotation. The rookies were particularly impressive in this one... but there was one “old” dog who just would not be upstaged by Spider-Man and the rest of the Marvel universe...
Hog Molly of the Week: Mario Addison
It was a banner game for one of the most consistent Panthers defenders in franchise history. With three sacks on the day, he moved to 4th all time in the team sack rankings, and continues to prove that hard work and relentless pursuit can lead to good things in the NFL. The most impressive thing to me was watching him take perfect tackling angles on Murray and either being 100% able to chase him down or force him to the sideline for losses. Not bad for a guy on the “wrong” side of 30. He is the perfect mentor for the hard-working youngsters in our stables, and has been the model of consistency throughout his career.