Welcome ladies and gentlemen to the Hog Molly Report, where winning in the trenches is all that matters. Before we begin, we open with the reciting of our usual motto:
In the spirit of Mr. Gettleman’s words (regardless of him having moved on) and the philosophy of building a team from the inside out, my goal will be to watch the hog mollies each game during the season and give them a grade based on their performance.
This week we will look at the Carolina Panthers third straight win coming at the expense of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, which moved the Panthers to 6-2 on the season. It was another big day for the offense, and the Hog Mollies definitely did their part. The defensive line also did an admirable job helping to limit the number one scoring offense in the NFL to 28 points on the day.
Offensive Hog Mollies
Yards per Carry: 5.6, season: 5.2 (T-1st, NFL)
Yards per Play: 7.1, season: 6.0 (9th, NFL)
Sacks allowed: 2, season: 12 (T-4th, NFL)
Third downs converted: 4 of 10 or 40%, season: 41% (14th, NFL)
Rating: 5 out of 5 Magnificent Mollies
The Carolina Panthers put together three amazing quarters of football on the offensive side of the ball. The third quarter was a dud, without question. The blocking had a lot to do with that as well as just some general bad luck. Outside the two sacks in that fateful third (only one credited to the offensive line) it was another great day up front.
Here are your pressure counts for week eight:
Here’s your sack report:
1st Sack: Q3 14:15, CAR 29, 3rd & 6 – Tampa Bay blitzed six on this play, and the Panthers had six in to block. It was nearly picked up, but Ryan Kalil gets beat on a inside stunt and gives up the sack to Gerald McCoy.
2nd Sack: Q3 11:15, CAR 32, 2nd & 9 – This one was UGLY. Four man rush, the combination of Greg Olsen and Christian McCaffrey is split hard by Carl Nassib who eventually gets a hand on Cam Newton’s shoe to trip him up for a sack as he tried to escape. Blocking scheme on this one was a little to cute with Olsen pulling down the line and having to hit the edge, instead getting blown back.
As you can see above, the right side of the line continues to justify what ought to be pro bowl and all-pro bids for Trai Turner and especially Taylor Moton. Ryan Kalil had a bit of an off game this week, but that is somewhat expected with Gerald McCoy in his face all day. Chris Clark continues to give ground in pass protection, and also got dinged for an ill-timed holding call, but overall is pretty darn impressive given the situation.
The combination of good blocking by the line, creative use of motion and misdirection, and a healthy mix of different people running the ball is helping the Panthers stay atop the rush yards per carry and per game leaderboards. They’ll need to continue this hot streak in order to have success on a short week against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday night.
Defensive Hog Mollies
Yards per Carry: 3.9, season: 4.3 (T-15th, NFL)
Yards per Play: 4.9, season: 5.6 (14th, NFL)
Sacks given: 3, season: 21 (T-18th, NFL)
Third down allowed %: 5 of 12 or 42%, season: 36% (8th, NFL)
Rating: 4 out of 5 Super Mario Mollies
The defensive line falls just one hog short of a five hog day thanks to a couple of 3rd and 10+ yard conversions that were the direct result of either poor run defense or poor pressure. The unit continues to be feast or famine, either getting to the quarterback or stopping the run entirely or giving up a large chunk play to play. Consistent pressure with four down linemen has been the key to past Carolina defenses, and right now the team isn’t quit achieving that, which is one of the reasons the unit has been average overall.
It isn’t all bad news though, in fact, it is mostly good news. Runs between the tackles continue to be useless gestures by the opposing offense, as six were attempted for a whopping five yards. Credit to the big men inside, particularly Dontari Poe and Kyle Love, for putting those on lockdown.
Mario Addison had by far his best game of the season, finishing off all three of the Panthers sacks for the day. He also caused a fumble which unfortunately was recovered by the offense, but was a massive hit. Julius Peppers also impacted the passing game by showing off his old basketball skills and rejecting three passes at the line. interior pressure also came forward in a big way on tape even without a big statistical impact. Eric Washington for the second straight game made smart use of blitzes to get Tampa Bay off schedule.
Hog Molly of the Week: Mario Addison
This award couldn’t go to anyone else this week. If you turn in a hat trick of sacks, you’re absolutely getting the nod. Two of these three sacks were totally solo, and one of them resulted in a fumble that the Buccaneers were very lucky to recover. On that particular play, Mario notched the second fastest sack of the week across all games, crushing Ryan Fitzpatrick only 2.7 seconds after the ball was snapped.
Author: Erik Sommers