PFF Preview: Panthers @ Bengals, Week 6
In a battle of division leaders, Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers will head to Cincinnati to battle Andy Dalton and the Bengals.
An aggressive Panthers defense will look to effectively rush Dalton on Sunday and throw him off his rhythm. Carolina has been solid in rush the passer this season, even without defensive end Greg Hardy. The unit is led by second-year defensive tackle Kawann Short who is second among all defensive tackles with a +8.9 pass rush grade and has logged eight total pressures. Usual suspect Charles Johnson has 17 total pressures in his first five contests and backup defensive end Mario Addison is also chipping in while surprisingly leading his team with five sacks and a 9.2 Pass Rush Productivity.
The Bengals will try to neutralize the Panthers’ pass rush with a strong offensive line. Left tackle Andrew Whitworth leads the team with a +4.2 pass blocking grade and has only allowed two hurries in four games this season. Right tackle Andre Smith has been equally effective in pass protection, earning a +2.7 pass blocking grade and ranking second in the NFL among offensive tackles with a 98.1 Pass Blocking Efficiency. The only player along Cincinnati’s offensive line that has not graded in the green for his pass blocking efforts is center Russell Bodine.
Here are three more notable numbers for each side:
Greg Olsen – leads all tight ends with a +5.4 receiving grade and is second at his position with 148 Yards After Catch in 2014.
Luke Kuechly – first among inside linebackers with a +9.0 overall grade and 47 tackles, and ranks third at his position with a 13.6 Run Stop Percentage.
Thomas Davis – is PFF’s No. 1-rated 4-3 outside linebacker in coverage this year, accumulating a +4.1 coverage grade through his first four games.
Andy Dalton – ranks second behind Philip Rivers with 8.57 Yards per Attempt among quarterbacks with at least 100 drop-backs.
George Iloka – when in primary coverage, only 25% of passes have been completed, with opposing quarterbacks earning a dreadful 1.6 QB Rating.
Giovani Bernard – third among running backs with at least 20 targets with 2.16 Yards per Route Run.
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