A Betting Analysis of the Carolina Panthers Offense
No team in the NFL scored more points this year than the Carolina Panthers, who tallied 500 points — well over 30 per game. Cam Newton has established himself as one of the elite signal-callers in the league, passing for 35 touchdowns and earning a season passer rating of 99.2. While Ted Ginn Jr. has the speed to burn opposing defenses, the Panther attack would have been even more dangerous if Kelvin Benjamin hadn’t blown out his knee in training camp. Newton also added 10 touchdowns (and 636 more yards) with his legs. Greg Olsen is the #1 tight end in the NFC in terms of receiving yards, with 1,104. So this is a team that can fire offensively on all cylinders.
— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) January 19, 2016
Why should you worry about the Panthers’ offense?
As much talent and firepower as the Panthers have — including Jonathan Stewart on the ground, with his season statistics dimmed a bit because of games missed due to injury — there are too many times when the Panthers lose focus. They blew a 28-points lead to the New York Giants and had to scramble for a late field goal to salt away the win in Week 15. In Week 16, the Panthers could not move the ball well against an Atlanta Falcon defense that has been very generous to teams in their tailspin that followed a 5-0 start. In the wild card game against Seattle, the Panthers’ offense did not score a touchdown in the second half, as they looked content to have the Seahawks knock them off the field, drive after drive, as the Panthers’ big halftime lead looked impossible to dissolve. Of course, if the Seahawks had converted that late onside kick, we might be talking about the Seahawks returning to Arizona for a third matchup between the NFC West foes in the NFC Championship game.
Is Jonathan Stewart underrated?
Despite missing some time, Stewart is heading to the Pro Bowl for a reason. He hadn’t played since December 13, but that didn’t keep him from running for 106 yards and two touchdowns (the majority of the yards coming in that first half). The Cardinals have allowed a total of 381 rushing yards in their last three games, and they’ve faced some fairly solid rushing attacks (the Packers and the Seahawks in the wild card game and Week 17) in the last two. So look for Stewart to get the ball early and often as the Panthers try to establish a rushing presence to set a ball-possession tone that will drive the time of possession battle into their favor. (So no, he’s not underrated).