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September 30, 2009

Checking in on Panthers' run defense, success of opposing rush offenses

The Panthers 29th-ranked run defense so far hasn't held any opponent to less than 150 yards rushing or 30 rushing attempts.

That simply isn't a formula for winning, especially for a team with a head coach (John Fox) with a defensive background.

Thought it'd be worthwhile to see how the teams Carolina has  played, and those they face in the coming weeks, are faring overall in their running games, so here are those results:

Dallas, which totaled 212 rushing yards Monday night, leads the NFL. Philadelphia (185 yards vs. Panthers in Week 1) ranks 12th and Atlanta (151 vs. Carolina in Week 2) is 23rd. The Falcons, led by '08 Pro Bowler Michael Turner, almost certainly will finish the year much better than where they're currently ranked

The Panthers have this week off, then play Washington, which is 24th in rushing but has one of the league's best backs in Clinton Portis, with Tampa Bay (25th) and Buffalo (9th) to follow.

The Bills are a legitimately strong rushing team. They've succeeded with their backup, Fred Jackson, filling in for suspended starter Marshawn Lynch, who rejoins the team this week.

The Panthers likily will struggle all year stopping the run due to being extremely thin at defensive tackle after losing starter Maake Kemoeatu (ruptured Achilles) in training camp and replacement Louis Leonard (broken ankle) at the end of the second game.

-- Charles Chandler

Follow our Panthers coverage on Twitter ... @CharlesChandler and @davidscott14

Posted by Observer Sports on September 30, 2009 at 10:34 AM | Permalink

Comments

Apparently, Kemo is the best DT in the league. Who knew?

Posted by: dogear | Sep 30, 2009 10:47:14 AM

What? What? Who could have seen this coming? Meeks had sooooo much success stoping the run as the D-coordinator for the Colts.
Well, guess that is just the way it goes. No sense blaming someone for poor judgment.

Posted by: JC | Sep 30, 2009 10:52:34 AM

I am so tired of hearing about Maake Kemoeatu. Our defense was horrible last year with him in the lineup. Every time the Panthers have a bad year they blame it on injuries.

Posted by: John | Sep 30, 2009 10:53:01 AM

Maake isnt that great but he is a big body. Maybe he doesnt make plays but he takes up linemen. No way can you have Nick Hayden who shouldnt be on an NFL roster and a guy we just signed (Burton) who didnt play last season at best can be on a practice squad both play big roles on the defense. Good luck trying to stop the run with the worst defensive tackles playing for you.

Posted by: EP | Sep 30, 2009 11:00:28 AM

Anyone hear about adapting? I have never seen Bill Belichick making bones about them losing so many players on defense. They regroup and work it out. All we do is year after year blame it on injuries.

Posted by: PantherPride | Sep 30, 2009 11:05:52 AM

Again, all the blame on the defense. I swear, its like theres a conspiracy against them. This group was banged up from day one, missing three starters, have a new defensive coordinator thats implementing new schemes, and you still want their heads to roll. GIVE THE DEFENSE A BREAK!! How about that great offense we have WITH ALL THE STARTERS RETURNING, WITH THE SAME COORDINATOR, WITH THE SAME PLAYS, but they cant convert a third down to save their lives. Whats the offenses excuse for their lackluster performance so far?? Wheres all the criticism on them for turning the ball over, not putting points on the board, and continously going three & out?

Posted by: D.W.G. | Sep 30, 2009 11:21:45 AM

The Panthers are just not a very good football team. 12-4 last year was done with smoke and mirrors. They were 4-0 against the AFC West (SD, Den, Oak, KC) and also got to play the Lions. I will still root for the Panthers every week, but something needs to be done to change the attitude of the team. Beason and Thomas Davis seem like the only players who are giving everything they have on every play. I don't care if they go 0-16 if the whole team plays like Beason and Davis. I can't stand seeing them lose while not even showing up though.

Posted by: Ryan | Sep 30, 2009 11:36:32 AM

D.W.G. I completely agree that the offense must equally share the blame for the 0-3 start. No question the run game is not there, and 12 turnovers in 3 games is so bad its silly. Having said that, changing the defensive scheme is not an excuse. These guys had 8+ months to implement it, so that excuse is out. Injuries should not be an excuse cause you SHOULD have adequate backups, which the Panthers clearly do not have. The blame for that? Right on the shoulders of Fox / Hurney for paying Peppers $18 million this year instead of letting him walk and using that money to get 4-6 other guys in here to fill his spot and backups. Forget it if any of the O-line go down... they have nobody to back them up, they let everybody go.. Bottom line? They are in deep doo doo. The only way they can hope to win some games this year is for the offense to win shootouts... beyond that, the defense just is not deep enough to play like we have been accustomed to. Somebody has to pay for this, and Fox / Hurney need to go. This is the third time since Fox / Hurney took over that they went to the playoffs one year, and the following year tanked. That stat alone speaks volumes as to why they are as they are this year.

Posted by: Mike | Sep 30, 2009 12:02:15 PM

If I'm not mistaken, the Tampa 2 is usually weak against the run. That weakness, combined with poor tackling, injuries, and inept offense, etc is going to make this a long season. I think getting Chris Harris back, similar to the effect that Bob Sanders has for Indy's defense against the run. But getting Chris Harris back is like sticking your finger in a crack on the Hoover Dam.

Posted by: Chris | Sep 30, 2009 12:20:13 PM

*I think getting Chris Harris back will help some, similar to the effect that Bob Sanders has for Indy's defense against the run. But getting Chris Harris back is like sticking your finger in a crack on the Hoover Dam.

Posted by: Chris | Sep 30, 2009 12:21:02 PM

Ryan,I agree with your asessment on Davis and Beason but I have to add Tyler Brayton to that short list.

Brayton has shown heart and managed to keep his motor and anger problems in check these 3 games.Damion Lewis has put some pressure on the Qbs in a few series but nothing that warrants his price tag im sure.

Posted by: GhostOfSparta | Sep 30, 2009 12:37:02 PM

Yeah I'm sick of hearing about injuries. John Fox could legitimately use that excuse in the past, but that wont cut it this year. Injuries are apart of the game, and has been since the beginning of time.

Posted by: Smitty | Sep 30, 2009 12:43:32 PM

we need to trade one of our rb's to get back in the top ten of next years draft, get a franchise qb, trade peppers for whatever we can. retool thru the draft and free agency and preferably with a knew head coach. otherswise i bet money we sign jason campbell in the offseason.49ers are lovin this btw. but i personally think we'll be 3-3. we cant be this bad! can we........?

Posted by: dude on the roof | Sep 30, 2009 1:01:23 PM

We have to get hot against these 3 average teams after the bye week. If not we are going right down the toilet.

Posted by: PanthersRule | Sep 30, 2009 1:17:16 PM

I agree with D.W.G., the defense spent most of the game on the field, while that terrible offense can't even produce one first down!!! Pathetic!! I really think that the offensive line doesn't wanna block for Jake anymore, and the defense doesn't really want to play for Fox either! This team has quit! Time to revamp this whole team!!!

Posted by: jah P | Sep 30, 2009 1:29:35 PM

we should have let pep walk used money for dt,de,db and used 2nd round pick on de then would not have given up first for next year, defense would have been better.

Posted by: steve | Sep 30, 2009 1:51:55 PM

"I think that when the season ends the great purge will begin. I think Fox and Julius Peppers will be caught up in it." Naturally Sorenson left out the walking biscuit billboard, Delhoe. I was expecting that everyone just blame Fox for him still being here, but he completely bypassed all of that by not even mentioning Delhoe. I guess the coast is clear to completely sweep it, and what the tragedy of "taking care of our own" in the south has cost this organization and its fan base??? Whatever.
Oh yeah, I have posted the following a half dozen times already, that they are not letting it get through. Surprise, surprise. I guess they are waiting for me to loose my cool and post something really crazy, like I did in the post above, for them to publish it. Bless the "American free press." What a tragic joke.
I imagine that the next step is to completely kick me off again. I'm sure the sheople won't object.
ALREADY TRIED POSTING THE FOLLWING SEVERAL TIMES TODAY:
I am sick and tired of hearing the experts say that Peppers has not been part of opposing teams' gameplan. Of course he is! They successfully run over him every game!!! And one expert has decided to give him credit for four tackles?? I only remember two. He must be including assisted tackles. Those should either not be put into the equation, or Poopers should be giving the other tacklers some of his million per game salary. What does that come out to, over $700,000 per player?
And how misleading is this? "Williams has rushed only 41 times for 180 yards. Stewart has 23 carries for 99 yards. Even though the Panthers had a manageable deficit of three or six points for much of the second half Monday, the Panthers threw 17 times, had six running plays and failed to score."
The fact is that they got most of that in the second game. They were shut down in games one and three by opposing defenses and the lack of opportunities thanks to turnovers did not help their cause as well. I was afraid this was going to happen before this season happen. It is no mystery on how to shut down the Panthers offense... play the run most (if not all) of the time and bracket Smith, rolling over a third if available.
This wouldn't be true if they were using the TE's like they did in the preseason. Notice how they were using a second TE and scored yesterday. The problem is that Dante is inconsistent and he is a horrible blocker. The last is the worst since it makes him pretty much half of a player that is on the field. The problem is that Barnidge (who reminds me of Siedman a bit) is even worse at it. So how are they supposed to successfully use two tight ends regularly when one of them becomes a liability???
AND FOR THOSE WHO ARE ANGRY ABOUT A QUIET OFFSEASON, BLAME THE RIGHT PEOPLE FOR IT!!! Hello! Cap space anyone. Ridiculous contract offers starting from the middle of last season, REMEMBER!?! Wow. Can't some of you put one and one together. I mean, it's like if they are not printing it for you, you don't have a thought on the matter. Seriously. It is really getting beyond words.
And, BTW, GO PANTHERS! How is that for pulling for them? It is not easy to do when I have to keep defending my position from a bunch of sellouts and followers (media and fans), just for the record.
Posted by: SYRPIS | September 29, 2009 at 09:17 PM

Kemo was that good. He also put pressure on QB's regularly too. Peppers comes unblocked a couple of times and does jumping jacks in front of the QB and the media dubs him a superstar. Kemo takes up two blockers and collapses the pocket all the time and he is overrated?? Maybe some of you should stick with watching baseball.

Posted by: SYRPIS | Sep 30, 2009 3:59:26 PM

Kemo was that good. He also put pressure on QB's regularly too. Peppers comes unblocked a couple of times and does jumping jacks in front of the QB and the media dubs him a superstar. Kemo takes up two blockers and collapses the pocket all the time and he is overrated?? Maybe some of you should stick with watching baseball.

Posted by: SYRPIS | Sep 30, 2009 3:59:34 PM

WHAT GAMES ARE YOU WATCHING BECAUSE I NEVER SAW KEMO DO ANYTHING

Posted by: Fired | Sep 30, 2009 6:01:40 PM

Peppers MUST do something if Panthers have any chance this year. Passing downs...what about sliding Brayton inside with Lewis, since he actually tries hard, using Johnson and Brown at DE and standing Peppers up as an OLB, like LT used to do? Rush 5 and hopefully get pressure. Corners won't get exposed as much and Beason/Davis should clean up any screens or draws.

Posted by: rwh | Oct 1, 2009 7:56:14 AM

We keep blaming Peppers but I AGREE WITH WHAT THE PERSON BELOW WROTE ABOUT OUR TEAM.
THANK YOU FOR BEING TRUTHFUL. IT ALWAYS SEEMS IMPOSSIBLE UNTIL IT IS DONE. GET GARCIA, BENCH JAKE AND LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL.
***************************************
Posted by: PantherPride | Sep 30, 2009 11:05:52 AM

Again, all the blame on the defense. I swear, its like theres a conspiracy against them. This group was banged up from day one, missing three starters, have a new defensive coordinator thats implementing new schemes, and you still want their heads to roll. GIVE THE DEFENSE A BREAK!! How about that great offense we have WITH ALL THE STARTERS RETURNING, WITH THE SAME COORDINATOR, WITH THE SAME PLAYS, but they can't convert a third down to save their lives. What's the offenses excuse for their lackluster performance so far?? Where's all the criticism on them for turning the ball over, not putting points on the board, and continously going three & out?
SOMEBODY, PLEASE ANSWER THE QUESTION THIS MAN ASKED.

Posted by: Say What | Oct 1, 2009 11:12:21 AM

the def only gave up 13 vs dallas,despite the fact they were on the field most of the game cause of 3 and out jake.jake and fox have lost this team.trade peppers now for a q.b or def tackle and have cowher, del-rio,shanahan and gruden on speed dial.

Posted by: ray | Oct 1, 2009 12:08:36 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.

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