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Thread: Football Outsiders Almanac Question/Nugget - Carolina Panthers

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    Football Outsiders Almanac Question/Nugget - Carolina Panthers

    I think a lot of people on this side respect the work of Aaron Schatz and his crew from Football Outsiders. The Football Outsiders Almanac is a must-read every year, and I thought it would be interesting to post something from each of the teams' chapters on this forum and get some conversation going. Out of respect to Football Outsiders, I won't post here what their projected record or playoff percentages are, but just an interesting tidbit from the team's chapter to see what their fans think.

    So, for the Carolina Panthers:

    Really interesting stat - last year the Panthers called a running play on 3rd down and 6+ yards to go 33 times, about 3 times the league average. Obviously, the Panthers have a strong running game - but was this because they didn't trust Delhomme to throw the ball anymore or are DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart just that good?

  2. That is really interesting. Time to order a book. Matt Moore is much more conservative with the ball and will get more chances to throw. But, if I had that OL I would run it too. I love Jeff Otah and was surprised he wasn't drafted higher. Jordan Gross's injury didn't help Delhomme last year. He is an athlete at LT. It is easy to forget that the Panthers went 8-8 last year. With John Fox in the final year of his contract without an extension, it all felt so negative coming out of Carolina. I would have left Jon Beason at MLBer despite the Thomas Davis injury, but I know how significant that Will LBer position is in Ron Meeks defense. The defensive line is completely re-made and Julius Peppers is in Chicago. If Carolina makes the playoffs, John Fox will be a top Coach of the Year candidate. If not, he won't have to worry about the lockout.

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    It would be interesting to see the conversion rate of those 3rd and Medium runs to gauge if it was confidence in the RBs or lack of confidence in the QB. My guess...a mixture of both. Panther fans are well versed in the patented John Fox "3rd Down and Long Draw Play", but with the running game we've had the past few years at least it's defensible, especially when you throw Delhomme in last year when any pass could lead to disaster.

    I expect the run game to be even better this year. JStew is 100% (To my knowledge for the first time ever...of course let's see if that is still the case Week 1). Otah is claiming that he's in the best shape of his career. And at RG there is a really interesting battle between Bernadeau who filled in really well for Wharton last year, Duke Robinson who is a massive beast that could be dominant if he puts the skills together, and Schwartz who is a massive converted OT. I think any of the 3 will do fine, but i'm kinda pulling for Robinson or Schwartz because if you pair either of their sizes with Otah on the right...wow...talk about road graders.

    Having said all that, I'm really not worried about our Offense, it should be able to control most games. But it all boils down to the DT's slowing the run and the DE's generating pressure without blitzing every play. I have confidence in Fox this year, he's coaching for a contract. Most of all though, I think this team will bring out the best in him. It's a very young team that should take his coaching well. There's something to be said for veteran leadership, but Fox has a tendency to stick with them too long. That's not an option with this team, so I think we might see some of his best coaching since 2003 or 2005.

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