PFF Preview: Panthers @ Packers, Week 7
The (3-2-1) Carolina Panthers head to Lambeau Field this Sunday to play the (4-2) Green Bay Packers. The Panthers are coming off of the first tie in the NFL this season, a 37-37 stalemate in Cincinnati. Carolina still sits atop the NFC South, and an early (3-0) start in the conference gives them a leg up in the division. The Packers head home after a tough road win against the Dolphins (on the final play of the game) and look to keep pace with the (4-2) Detroit Lions.
The Panthers have been dealing with a plethora of injuries at the running back spot. The Panthers will need to run the ball successfully against a Green Bay front that has struggled stopping the run. Carolina might try to behind Ryan Kalil. His (+4.9) run block grade is the only green run blocking grade on the Carolina offense so far. On the other side of the ball, Mike Daniels (+7.8) and Morgan Burnett (+4.1) are the only Packers’ starters with a positive run defense grade so far this season. This matchup will be paramount on Sunday.
Here are a few other players to watch for:
Cam Newton – Newton is currently our top-graded QB with a +14.6 overall grade. Per our Time in Pocket stats, Newton is averaging 2.53 seconds to attempt a pass (2.73 in 2013). He also has had the ball out in under 2.5 seconds on 51.8% of his drop-backs (40% in 2013).
Greg Olsen – Olsen has also not allowed a pressure in his 35 pass-blocking snaps which ties him for first in our tight end Pass Block Efficiency rating, and his +6.1 receiving grade ties him for the top spot among tight ends.
Kawann Short – Short’s +16.2 overall grade ranks second behind Gerald McCoy out of all interior defensive lineman. He also ranks in the Top Ten in Pass Rush Productivity with a 6.6 rating.
Green Bay Packers
Eddie Lacy – After grading out at +15.3 last year, Lacy is off to a slower start coming in at only +0.8 this year. He still ranks sixth in Elusive Rating at 67.6 as he’s forced 25 total missed tackles.
Julius Peppers – Peppers has a pass rush grade of +7.5, which puts him at eight out of 3-4 outside backers. His 19 total pressures ranks seventh and leads to his Pass Rush Productivity rating of 9.5.
Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix – After starting off the season slowly, Clinton-Dix’s grade has improved in each game for the last four weeks. Last week he put up a career-best +2.3 grade which included three stops. He has only been targeted seven times on the season and has allowed just three completions.
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