PFF Preview: Bears @ Panthers, Week 5
Inconsistency can describe the season so far for both the Carolina Panthers and the Chicago Bears who will face-off this Sunday in Charlotte at Bank of America Stadium.
The Panthers started the season strong with two wins, but have faltered recently, suffering two straight losses. The team’s offensive line has been a weak point this season, and especially in pass blocking situations. Left tackle Byron Bell has posted a -8.0, while right tackle Nate Chandler has a -5.7 in the pass blocking category. Even the leader of the offensive line, Ryan Kalil, has been unimpressive with a -2.2 in pass blocking. Kalil hasn’t finished a season with a pass blocking grade below zero since his rookie year in 2007, so there is reason for hope he will improve.
Bears defensive linemen Lamarr Houston (+1.6) and Stephen Paea (+4.6) have lead the team in rushing the passer, and Paea currently ranks fourth in the league among defensive tackles. Houston has been unable to sack the quarterback so far this year, but he does lead the team in hurries (9) and hits (4).
Here are some other players to watch for in this game:
Bryan De La Puente- De La Puente has been outstanding in place of injured center Roberto Garza by dominating in run blocking where he ranks 2nd in the league for centers (+7.1).
Michael Ola- Ola is another offensive linemen who didn’t come into the season as a starter, but has impressed. His +4.0 overall ranks him as the fourth-best left guard in the league.
Kyle Fuller- When quarterbacks target a receiver in Fuller’s coverage area their NFL QB rating is 56.3 and Fuller leads all cornerbacks with three interceptions
Mario Addison- Addison is a rotational player on the defensive line who has only played about 35% of defensive snaps this season, but has made the most out of those snaps with five quarterback sacks, two quarterback hits, and one quarterback hurry.
Cam Newton- Newton has played well on his 39 drop-backs against the blitz (+2.5). His NFL QB Rating against the blitz is a 110.8
Jerricho Cotchery- Cotchery is the only wide receiver in the league that has been targeted double-digit times and have a 100% catch rate. He has 13 receptions on 13 targets.
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