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October 18, 2011

To change course, Panthers need to change turnover numbers


    Among the things that have worked against the Panthers through the first six games of the season has been turnovers.

   Too many by the Panthers (10). Too few by their opponents (5).

   Only three teams in the league -- New Orleans, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh -- are worse in the turnover category. The Saints have been good enough to win despite making 11 giveaways, the Steelers have been so-so and the Eagles' surprisingly slow start can be traced almost directly to 17 turnovers.

   In the Panthers' case, they've struggled to generate takeaways. They have three interceptions and two fumble recoveries. That's not creating many extra opportunities for the offense.

   Look at the top five teams in turnover margin this week -- Buffalo, Detroit, San Francisco, Green Bay and Baltimore -- and it's no coincidence that those teams are off to such good starts.

   As the Panthers look to change direction in their 1-5 season, changing the turnover numbers in their favor would make a big difference.

-- Ron Green Jr.

Posted by Observer Sports on October 18, 2011 at 11:25 AM | Permalink


Great point Jr...

Also, glad to see you're writing more. Fowler sucks...

Posted by: Jiminy BananaPants | Oct 18, 2011 11:42:19 AM

Ron: I think the only way we can get on a winning streak is to change our offensive philosophy to arena league/old Ram's greatest show on turf. Our defense cannot stop other teams. We do not have the talent on the field, unfortunately. Our only hope is to simply score more points - almost every time we touch the ball. Nothing to lose - start emulating the old Rams when they were flinging the ball all over the field and had Marshall Faulk.

Posted by: Zenmeister | Oct 18, 2011 11:49:07 AM

Ron: I think the only way we can get on a winning streak is to change our offensive philosophy to arena league/old Ram's greatest show on turf. Our defense cannot stop other teams. We do not have the talent on the field, unfortunately. Our only hope is to simply score more points - almost every time we touch the ball. Nothing to lose - start emulating the old Rams when they were flinging the ball all over the field and had Marshall Faulk.

Posted by: Zenmeister | Oct 18, 2011 11:49:07 AM

Fox had his faults, but his philosophy of 1) Run the ball, 2) Stop the run, and 3) Win the turnover battle is sound. My problems were with 4) Automatically run a draw on 3rd and 8+, 5) Punting is not a bad play, and 6) Make no in-game adjustments.

Posted by: emlit | Oct 18, 2011 12:33:51 PM

Fact, we are still one of the one or two worst teams in the league. These nutty folks who want to think playoffs or even an 8-8 season are kidding themselves. We are at very best a 5 win team, but much closer to a one or two win squad. Cam has shown a lot of promise, but he is still a rookie, and the rest of the league is starting to catch on to his moves. Let's hope J.R. decides to open his dusty pocketbook and pay someone this offseason. And no, I do not mean overpaying another of our HORRIBLE O-linemen. I mean gut the D and O line and start from scratch, as the people we have now are not NFL material, no matter what awards they may have won.

Posted by: Yes we can't | Oct 18, 2011 1:15:52 PM

Wow, I bet you think you really know football. It's obvious from your comment that you dont. Did you even play HS football or are you just a fanasty guy? Don't answer that I already know.

Posted by: TheChampishere | Oct 18, 2011 1:26:41 PM

I played HS football, I was a star! I scored 4 touchdowns in the state championship game!

Posted by: Al Bundy | Oct 18, 2011 1:35:58 PM

Yo! @Zenmeister

I swear I just said the exact same thing on Sunday to somebody. They have to take it out of the defenses hands altogether.

Posted by: NCviaNY | Oct 18, 2011 1:54:11 PM

Even though we are 1-5 we were only out of one game and that wasn't until the 4th quarter and it was on the road against a team that was picked by Peter King to win the Super Bowl. Let's not beat up the Panthers for losing to the Packers, Falcons, Saints and Bears. Packers and Saints won the last two super bowls and the Falcons and Bears had byes in the playoffs last year. The Cards loss was a bad one based on how they have played since.

I think the Panthers can win the next two games. Then they get two hot teams - The Titans and The Lions. Then we get Indy and i think win that one plus one more to give us five wins.

Posted by: Dominator | Oct 18, 2011 2:02:19 PM

5 wins is an improvement from last year. We are still a very young team. the o-line played well early last week but fell off in the second half. Hopefully we can snag one this weekend at home! Go cats!

Posted by: Actual Real Fan | Oct 18, 2011 2:09:39 PM

I'm not mad @ Yes we Can't

Our DLine isn't good except Charles Johnson (Hardy is decent, but really only a pass rusher), and our CB's aren't good. I'd disagree about the OLine though. They're doing a good job of pass blocking, and have improved drastically at run blocking... DW needs to pick his holes better and be more patient until they open for him.

Posted by: NCviaNY | Oct 18, 2011 2:15:23 PM

Doesn't matter what you do as long as you can't stop the run!

Posted by: joe cool | Oct 18, 2011 2:58:57 PM

In my opinion, we only need 2 big DT run stoppers! and 1 playmaker at CB, because Gamble, Munnerlyn and Butler are good, but only as a 2nd CB or Nickel CB.
And the most important thing, we need our LB healthy!!

For the offensive side; next year will be different with Gettis on the field.

Posted by: rodrigo | Oct 18, 2011 3:10:16 PM

@ Joe Cool

Spot on


The corners we have now are all cover 2 corners, and if there is no pressure in a cover 2 scheme... Well we all know the outcome. Gamble is a nickel at best. Munnerlyn has shown improvement over last year, but that's not saying much.

Posted by: NCviaNY | Oct 18, 2011 3:22:47 PM


Completely agree with you.

Also Cam Newton is a very good player, but he's a "One man show" and remember, one man NEVER WON games and/or championships.
Also the last pass vs Atlanta Falcons was pathetic!!
Cam looks very antipathic in that play.

Posted by: rodrigo | Oct 18, 2011 3:43:13 PM

rodrigo, we were down 14 & time had expired, what did you expect? I loved that pass, it showed me Cam wanted to fight until the end and didn't care about his stats. Only the fantasy football geeks care, John Fox said it best "stats are for losers."

Yes guys our defense sucks, but you're right even if both LBs come back healthy next year teams are still going to run all over us if we don't address the DT position. Neither Fua nor McClain have shown me they are the long-term answer. Maybe we should switch to the 3-4, Fox is gone & if we don't figure out how to stop the run and do it NOW, we'll be lucky to go 4-12.

Posted by: Joe F. | Oct 18, 2011 4:21:17 PM

@Joe F.
Do you think last pass showed that Cam was fighting till the end of the game? C'mon!! he only threw the ball to the end zone, like a "short hail mary", it doesn't show me that he's fighting till the end of the game.

I don't have any doubt that Cam is our franchise QB, he's a very good player, he's winner, young, etc.
But C'mon, be realistic!! that pass su...cks!!
Remember that he's rookie and he needs to learn a lot of things. He isnĀ“t God!!

Be realistic, we lost this game due to our defense and because Cam has had 2 mistakes.

Posted by: rodrigo | Oct 18, 2011 4:45:39 PM

I didn't say he was God, and I definitely didn't say he didn't make mistakes that cost us. The game was over and he threw it up for grabs, what would have been a better pass in your opinion? What was he supposed to do, score a double-touchdown to send the game into overtime? Why are you making such a big deal over one irrelevant play, a perfect strike for a TD (with 8 defenders in the end zone) would still have lost us the game.

Posted by: Joe F. | Oct 18, 2011 5:14:15 PM

@ rodrigo and Joe F

I think it was a frustration throw, didn't seem to put much into it. (My assumption as I am not Cam). I do agree with Joe F though DT is a weakness for sure.

This much is certain. The Panthers are more exciting to watch. Cam is special. And we are still losing. I still like what we have and look forward to seeing how far we can go this year still.

Posted by: NCviaNY | Oct 18, 2011 5:21:44 PM

And as a side note... To be a fairly new team - Rookie coach as well as QB - The Panthers were "in it" against some potent teams. I know "in it" doesn't count, but 5-11, 6-10 isn't as unrealistic as some of you pessimists may think.

Posted by: NCviaNY | Oct 18, 2011 5:25:59 PM

@ NCviaNY

Yes, Cam looked very frustrated after his 2nd. interception, look at his face.

Keep in mind, this year is for learning (new coaching staff, new QB, new schemes, new TE, new starting DL (except Charles J.), injuries). For next year, we will fixed our weaknesses, plus the experience that our young players will be acquired. Trust me, we will be a very competitive team.

Posted by: rodrigo | Oct 18, 2011 5:36:10 PM

It would nice if the Panthers had a defense that could generate turnovers (or even score once in a while). Truth is ... not the problem to date.
(1) 1st and goal twice against Atlanta for pass interference in the end zone. Deadly. Cost two touchdowns. How much did the Falcons win by? I see, and welcome, off-season changes here. BTW, this same group can't tackle either.
(2) Is there anyone who's seen the Panthers play (including week-after-week opponents) who does not know that DeAngelo Williams will run up the middle on 1st and 10. This is a strategy? Mainly it wastes a down. Must be in DeAngelo's contract.

It's not sports-writer numbers, which can largely be mistrusted which writer wrote them. It's insight and perceptions, and limited personnel.

Posted by: anonymous | Oct 18, 2011 7:21:17 PM

Ron - what you are actually suggesting here, is that the turnover margin is fine. Just look at the New Orleans stat. I agree with the takeaways statement, but that has always been a panther issue. In addition to not being, "ball hawks," we have never been able to stop the run. We lost at two games, the Arizona and the Chicago game on special teams. Just a few tackles and we win those games. So the record should reflect 3-3. We took 3 L's; the Green Bay, the New Orleans, and the Atlanta stinker. I blame only 2 of the games on the defense. We could not stop Turner or Grant. New Orleans we didn't have to stop the run, it stopped itself, but we were in the game. Solution, create a winning attitude, we won't win games but if you are losing like we are, with the exception of Atlanta, we are getting better. Next year, draft a massive DT, find a receiver opposite Steve and hopefully a special cornerback. We probably won't get ALL of this next year. But we should get the best DT.

Posted by: Ricardo Cobb | Oct 18, 2011 7:52:59 PM

Remember the 1-16 season, we were always in the games and in the last minutes we lost by 3 or 7 points.

I hope this don't happen again. Cam is doing great but needs to cut down giving the ball away in the 4th quarter .

Go panthers from Shanghai China

Posted by: Louis | Oct 18, 2011 8:02:42 PM

@ rodrigo & NCviaNY

Ok I guess Cam could have made a better throw (I really can't remember I wasn't paying very close attention at the end), but my point was at least he was trying to put points on the board - futile as it may have been - instead of worrying about stats. That's his job, to score, that's why I said fighting to the end. Yes he was frustrated but at least he was trying. Those types of desperation heaves are usually picked off & he could have easily chucked it out the endzone & had a better stat line. Now all the haters are saying, "See, he threw 3 picks! He sucks!" Like we (or Cam) care.

Speaking of haters, it's nice to have a real football debate for once on this post without having to wade through 50% garbage comments about Cam (save the moronic comment by Troy)

Posted by: Joe F. | Oct 18, 2011 8:14:38 PM

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