Carolina’s defense just a week ago couldn’t stop anyone, not even a Seattle team who scored only 5 points against Tampa and a quarterback who threw 5 INTS against Green Bay. One week after surrendering 555 yds, Carolina’s defense frustrated Phillip Rivers, forced five turnovers, and put the Panthers in a position to win when Carolina’s offense tried to do everything they could to lose.
So what was the difference this week against San Diego? Kurt Coleman and Mario Addison
Coleman, the only old-hat in the Panthers secondary helped tremendously in keeping the Panthers backend covered. He made plays against the run, broke-up some deep pass attempts, and had an interception. He finished the day with eight combined tackles, three pass defenses, and an INT.
Addison, who missed a couple of weeks with a foot injury, immediately rejuvenated a Panthers pass-rush that harassed Phillip Rivers all day. While Addison only finished with only a sack, one quarterback hit, and one tackle for a loss, he contributed more than can be seen on just the stat sheet.
San Diego was playing from behind the entire game. Addison, who the Panthers only use on passing downs, capitalized on the increased workload and showed why he has been Carolina’s most effective pass-rusher.
Outside of their individual impact, Addison and Coleman contributed a lot to the Panthers scheme and in a supportive role that showed in other defensive players’ success.
The Chargers only rushed the ball for 58 yds. on the day. The Panthers defense also created opportunities for Carolina’s offense, which never managed a drive longer than 40 yds. in the game. AJ Klein, Shaq Thompson, and Tre’ Boston all had arguably their best games of the season. It’s hard to chock up their success to Addison and Coleman directly. Their returned presence, however, allowed Panthers defensive coordinator to put guys like Klein and Thompson in positions to best succeed. Carolina didn’t have to ask Klein to cover a receiver 40 yds downfield like he did against Oakland.
The injury bug has bitten Carolina hard this season. While Michael Oher and Luke Kuechly have garnered much of the attention, we’ve seen that some of these lunch-pail players, like Addison and Coleman, are critical to Carolina’s success.
By the Professor, aka Tony Dunn
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