Its time to give credit to the Carolina Panthers' braintrust. General manager Dave Gettleman and head coach Ron Rivera have built a team designed to absolutely beat down their opponents. Hard-nosed, gritty, physical...think of any football cliché used by announcers and it can apply to this Panthers team.
In their game against the Green Bay Packers Sunday these traits were on full display.
Their run game is simply beautiful. They're getting the most out of their offense by using Cam Newton's mobility. I don't think there is a quarterback right now that rivals how much of an impact Newton has on his team's run game. He's basically a quarterback that can double as a running back. Offensive coordinator Mike Shula is able to use that dual threat to to his advantage. They use a ton of play action and zone read plays, plus designed quarterback runs.
This play below is just one example of their creativity. They motion the receiver out wide, allow Newton to fake, and then take off on a designed QB run.
Love play design here. Newton basically used as an RB. https://t.co/HKAU6qqu9O— Daniel R (@DanielR_MCM) November 10, 2015
The Titans have struggled this season against mobile quarterbacks and that trend will have to change in a hurry if they want to stop Cam Newton and the Carolina offense.
Defensively you can see Ron Rivera's fingerprints all over this team. The defensive line and linebackers work together seamlessly. The front four linemen create all sorts of havoc, allowing the linebackers to focus on playing seek-and-destroy. On Sunday Aaron Rodgers was the victim of that.
Carolina brings 4 DL plus Davis. Kuhn misses block. https://t.co/PW8xMxYfxD— Daniel R (@DanielR_MCM) November 10, 2015
Bring 5 plus 2 as delayed rushers. Delayed rush not even needed. https://t.co/3hHsRIHU2a— Daniel R (@DanielR_MCM) November 10, 2015
Part of the lesson here is that if you miss a block, you're going to pay. There were many plays that could have been used in this spot though.
The Titans' key to offensive success is pretty darn easy to recognize: if you give Marcus Mariota a chance, good things are going to happen. The Titans reshuffled offensive line was good against the Saints, but the Panthers will pose a much greater challenge. Carolina just absolutely dominated a good Green Bay offensive line.
Mike Mularkey is going to have to spend the week preaching fundamentals. Its crucial that the defense focus on gap control and keeping Newton in the pocket, while the offense works to keep the most important part of the offense upright.