|Last 3 Games||3-0||+3.6||3-0||1-2||26.0||18.0||372.7||(5.7)||1.0||11.0||1.0||238.3||(4.6)||1.3|
|Offense (All Games)||20.9||11.7||20.0||29:34||28-121||(4.3)||18-30||58.6%||228||(7.5)||59-349||(6)||(16.7)|
|Opponents Defensive Avg.||22.7||11.5||19.6||30:46||26-111||(4.3)||22-35||61.9%||247||(7)||61-358||(5.9)||(15.8)|
|Offense Road Games||23.3||13.3||21.1||29:55||30-127||(4.3)||18-30||59.1%||246||(8.3)||59-372||(6.3)||(16)|
|Defense (All Games)||21.7||9.6||20.3||30:43||27-113||(4.3)||23-34||66.8%||213||(6.2)||61-326||(5.4)||(15)|
|Opponents Offensive Avg.||23.9||11.4||20.2||31:37||27-113||(4.3)||22-35||62.5%||246||(7)||62-360||(5.8)||(15.1)|
|Defense Road Games||19.7||10.3||19.6||30:05||27-130||(4.8)||19-28||67.7%||164||(5.8)||56-294||(5.3)||(14.9)|
|Stats For (All Games)||0.7||0.7||1.4||0.1||13-5||41.5%||1-0||33.3%||3-56||(22.2)||2-13||(8)||6-53|
|Opponents Avg. Stats Against||1||0.7||1.7||2.1||13-5||39.4%||1-0||47.3%||3-62||(23.4)||20-2||(9.7)||6-52|
|Stats For (Road Games)||0.6||0.3||0.9||0.4||12-6||46.0%||0-0||100.0%||2-49||(24.4)||2-15||(9.4)||6-58|
|Stats Against (All Games)||0.7||0.8||1.5|| ||13-5||36.3%||1-1||47.1%||2-43||(18.4)||2-22||(9.1)||5-44|
|Opponents Avg. Stats For||1||0.6||1.6|| ||13-5||39.4%||1-0||49.2%||2-56||(22.6)||18-2||(8.7)||6-49|
|Stats Against (Road Games)||0.3||1.0||1.3|| ||12-4||32.1%||1-1||66.7%||3-53||(17.7)||2-13||(8.5)||6-42|
|Last 3 Games||2-1||+1.3||2-1||2-1||34.0||18.0||498.7||(6.7)||1.3||27.7||11.7||408.7||(6.6)||2.7|
|Offense (All Games)||28.2||15.9||22.0||29:14||23-101||(4.3)||26-42||62.7%||308||(7.4)||65-409||(6.3)||(14.5)|
|Opponents Defensive Avg.||22.6||11.2||19.5||30:51||26-109||(4.2)||22-35||62.0%||242||(6.9)||61-351||(5.8)||(15.5)|
|Offense Home Games||29.7||16.9||20.4||27:25||21-95||(4.4)||24-39||61.4%||276||(7.1)||60-371||(6.2)||(12.5)|
|Defense (All Games)||27.3||14.4||23.5||31:38||28-139||(5)||24-38||62.1%||296||(7.8)||66-434||(6.6)||(15.9)|
|Opponents Offensive Avg.||23.5||11.1||20.3||31:33||27-114||(4.3)||22-35||62.9%||246||(7)||62-360||(5.8)||(15.3)|
|Defense Home Games||23.1||11.0||23.3||33:48||29-146||(5.1)||25-41||61.3%||292||(7.2)||69-438||(6.3)||(18.9)|
|Stats For (All Games)||1.2||0.3||1.5||0.1||13-6||44.6%||1-0||50.0%||3-78||(24.9)||2-13||(8)||7-57|
|Opponents Avg. Stats Against||1||0.6||1.6||1.9||13-5||39.1%||1-0||46.2%||3-62||(23.5)||21-2||(9.6)||6-52|
|Stats For (Home Games)||1.0||0.4||1.4||0.7||12-5||39.5%||1-0||50.0%||3-86||(27.3)||2-9||(6)||6-61|
|Stats Against (All Games)||0.9||0.7||1.7|| ||13-5||36.5%||1-1||52.6%||3-68||(25)||2-21||(10.8)||7-53|
|Opponents Avg. Stats For||1||0.6||1.6|| ||13-5||39.3%||1-0||48.6%||3-58||(22.8)||19-2||(9)||6-50|
|Stats Against (Home Games)||1.3||0.9||2.1|| ||15-6||37.9%||1-1||50.0%||3-54||(20.9)||2-24||(10.7)||8-69|
|Average power rating of opponents played: CAROLINA 20.7, NEW ORLEANS 20.4|
|12/2/2012||@ KANSAS CITY||21-27||L||-5.5||L||41.5||O||22-165||15-27-220||0||43-158||19-23-197||0|
|12/16/2012||@ SAN DIEGO||31-7||W||3||W||45||U||39-155||19-33-217||1||16-70||16-23-94||2|
|12/30/2012||@ NEW ORLEANS|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|12/9/2012||@ NY GIANTS||27-52||L||4||L||52.5||O||24-142||26-43-345||4||27-135||22-35-259||2|
|12/30/2012||CAROLINA|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|CAROLINA: While the Panthers are extremely run-heavy, that shouldn't be confused with being conservative. Offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski implemented a unique running game that is traditional about two-thirds of the time, with the rest of the playbook being option plays for Cam Newton. Their running back rotation is tough to figure out, as last year DeAngelo Williams started, Jonathan Stewart played more reps, but Williams had more carries. The Panthers insist that Mike Tolbert will primarily be a fullback, though he'll surely play in some single-back sets. The Panthers are content to let Newton create in the red zone, as he was by far their most often-used weapon deep in opponent territory (10 more red-zone carries than Carolina's running backs combined). Chudzinski's offense is rooted in the big play, which is why it suits Newton so well. Besides giving him some space to improvise, Newton's first read is almost always Steve Smith downfield, and he'll force throws to him. While Brandon LaFell became more involved in the offense, especially after overtaking Legedu Naanee late in the year, Newton rarely got past his second read, which was to come down to Greg Olsen in the middle of the field or whichever back is in the game. Expect LaFell to be more involved as Newton grows more comfortable running the offense in his second NFL season. Carolina ranked 27th in scoring defense and 28th in total defense in 2011, and still needs a ton of work. But selecting LB tackling machine Luke Kuechly ninth overall was a nice upgrade'with Kuechly and Jon Beason at linebacker, Charles Johnson will be freed up to do what he does best, which is rush the quarterback. Expect at least a dozen sacks and an uptick in tackles this coming season. Also expect more from Greg Hardy, who saw a rise in his tackle numbers from 2010 to '11, and his sack total should jump with Carolina expected to abandon the hybrid 3-4 the team employed at times last year. Beason will likely play the weak side, as he did in 2010. Charles Godfrey, who has excellent range for a strong safety, should once again anchor the secondary. |
|NEW ORLEANS: While this will be a trying year with head coach Sean Payton suspended, offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael Jr. has been his right hand man running the offense for the past three seasons, calling plays while Payton was recovering from a broken leg last year. New Orleans will continue to use its versatile, three-headed running back monster with a series of different blocking schemes up front. Mark Ingram will likely lead them in carries again, most often serving as a second-half closer. Pierre Thomas and Darren Sproles usually split carries in the first half, though Sproles is most often used as a receiver as opposed to a ball carrier. Ingram will take most of the red zone carries, though not exclusively. Carmichael came onto the staff as quarterbacks coach in 2006, the same year Drew Brees arrived. New Orleans will continue to use spread principles and will be fine with Brees running the show. TE Jimmy Graham and receiver Marques Colston are targets 1 and 1A for Brees, who is more comfortable throwing to receivers facing him. Because they use two backs often, slot receiver Lance Moore plays only about 50 percent of their snaps. Sproles is the main catch-and-run threat, getting screen passes and occasionally splitting wide. Thomas is used often in the screen game as well. And with Robert Meachem gone, Devery Henderson becomes the primary deep threat. Graham is the No. 1 target in the red zone but Sproles, despite his size, plays a big role on screens and swings, creating after the catch. There is not much to like about this defense, which ranked 30th in pass defense and is coming off a second straight season with a meager nine interceptions. Defensive leader LB Jonathan Vilma is suspended for bounty nonsense and the team's second-leading tackler from last season, LB Jo-Lonn Dunbar, is now in St. Louis. They'll be replaced by Curtis Lofton, who takes over at middle linebacker after playing the same position for the Falcons last season, and David Hawthorne, who was a solid run-stopper at middle linebacker for Seattle in 2011 and will likely switch to the weak side. Safety Roman Harper often blitzed and played almost exclusively in the box under former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, and he will likely have a less aggressive role under new coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. |
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER PRO FOOTBALL PREVIEW (CAROLINA-NEW ORLEANS) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Panthers-Saints Preview* =========================
By JORDAN GARRETSON STATS Writer
After disappointing seasons, the Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints are both looking to use their Week 17 meeting to springboard them to better things next year. But it's unclear whether a win in New Orleans on Sunday will help keep Carolina from making sweeping organizational changes.
Since starting 2-8, the Panthers (6-9) have won four of five. They've won three straight by double digits, including a victory against the NFC's top seed Atlanta, but it still might not be enough for owner Jerry Richardson to retain coach Ron Rivera for another year.
Rivera is 12-19 in two seasons at the helm and still has two years remaining on his contract. But even a 7-9 finish would likely be a disappointment for a team that seemed to have a shot at its first playoff berth since 2008-09 after Cam Newton burst on the scene as a rookie last season and the team won four of its final six games.
Rivera said there hasn't been any assurances from Richardson, and the two haven't had any recent discussions regarding his job.
"I think we're doing some really good things and I like the way the guys have stayed focused," Rivera said. "That is very gratifying for a coach knowing that they're hearing the messages the coaches are sending. I appreciate their focus to the details of preparing. We have done a lot of good things."
For what it's worth, many of Rivera's players seem to have his back.
"It is great to fight for a guy that believes in us," Steve Smith said after Carolina's 17-6 win against Oakland on Sunday. "We believe in him. It's just a great way to show our appreciation for someone."
Another decision looming ahead for Richardson is on the general manager front. He hired former Giants General Manager Ernie Accorsi as a consultant to help replace Marty Hurney, whom Richardson fired after the Panthers started 1-5. Brandon Beane has served as the team's interim general manager in the meantime, and is considered a candidate for the full-time position.
The Saints (7-8) will miss the playoffs for the first time in four years. New Orleans faced an uphill fight after the team's suspensions because of the bounty scandal, and started 0-4. Despite going 7-4 since, including Sunday's 34-31 overtime win at Dallas during which Drew Brees threw for 446 yards and three touchdowns, the Saints were eliminated from contention due to other results.
Joe Vitt, the team's interim coach in place of the suspended Sean Payton after serving his own six-game suspension, is focused on making this season an outlier among recent years that have been the most successful in the franchise's history. Vitt has one particular goal in mind for the future.
"There's two types of Super Bowl winners: Those that win and those that win one," Vitt said. "And our goal is to win two and we're working toward that goal right now."
New Orleans' defense will try to avoid infamy on Sunday. The Saints have surrendered 6,512 yards this season, 281 shy of the record 6,793 given up by the 1981 Baltimore Colts, which Vitt served as an assistant coach for. New Orleans allows 434.1 yards per game, over 40 yards more than the next worst team.
They have improved recently, allowing 376.8 over the last five games. The Saints' 41-0 shutout of Tampa Bay two weeks ago was the team's first since 1995.
"The main thing for me is we want to get a win," said linebacker Curtis Lofton. "So if we give up however many yards and we get a win, I'll take the W any day. This year has been very different for me and a lot of the guys, you know, giving up all the yards and all that stuff. The first four games was tough, but when you look at us the last seven games, we played great defense."
Taking aim against the suspect unit will be Newton, who recently has more resembled the record-setting rookie of last year. Newton has thrown for 14 TDs and three interceptions over his past eight games, compiling a passer rating of 99.3. His rating through the first seven games was 75.2 as he threw five TDs and was picked off eight times while the Panthers went 1-6.
Carolina had lost four straight in the series before Newton accounted for 324 total yards and two scores in a 35-27 win on Sept. 16. A Saints victory on Sunday would even the all-time series at 18 wins each.
|Last Updated: 8/29/2014 9:17:03 AM EST|