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Week 2: Panthers Hold On To Beat Bills
Valant effort by defense can't overcome offensive offense.
by Steve Saslow

Here are our position by position grades:

Quarterback:

Tyrod Taylor had another chance at a game winning drive and failed once again with a high throw to a wide open Zay Jones on the final drive. He threw for just 125 yards.
Grade F: Showed again that he's not a franchise quarterback.

Running Backs:

LeSean McCoy had an awful day. McDermott said his groin wasn't a factor but he had no burst. He finished with just 9 yards on 12 carries but added six receptions for 34 yards.
Mike Tolbert had three carries for five yards and one catch for two yards.
Patrick DiMarco he dropped the one pass thrown his way.
Grade F: Terrible day from this unit.

Receivers:

Jordan Matthews caught all three targets for 30 yards including a big 15 yarder.
Zay Jones couldn't bring in the last second pass from Taylor. It would have been a great catch but he could have made it. He finished with just two catches for 16 yards on six attempts.
Andre Holmes matched Jones two catches for 18 yards but had a very costly pass interference penalty that cost them a first down at the 20. It was a ticky tack call.
Charles Clay had only three catches for 23 yards. He also fumbled the ball which is becoming an issue.
Grade F: May be the worst receiving corps in the league.

Offensive Line:

Jordan Mills was beaten cleanly for a sack by Julius Peppers in the third quarter to force a punt.
Cordy Glenn gave up a sack late in the first half before leaving the game with his ongoing ankle issues.
Dion Dawkins replaced Glenn and made a terrific block when he was out on his own on a Clay screen pass that went for a first down.
John Miller got called for an illegal hands to the face penalty that negated their biggest gain of the first half.
Grade F: Gave up three sacks and there were no holes for the running game.

Defensive Line:

Marcell Dareus had one assist as he was in and out of the game with an ankle injury.
Kyle Williams had six assists but not one solo tackle.
Jerry Hughes whiffed on Cam Newton on a third down play in the red zone but he ended up having to throw the ball away. He did get to Newton for a sack early in the second quarter. He then got his second sack late in the third quarter that got Newton banged up.
Shaq Lawson had a tackle for a loss on the first play of the game. Then got a sack in the third quarter. He started the late goal line stand with a tackle of Stewart behind the line of scrimmage when he flew in from the outside.
Eddie Yarbrough followed Hughes's second quarter sack with one of his own to knock the Panthers out of field goal range.
Grade A: They had four sacks and were solid in this game getting pressure on him.

Linebackers:

Preston Brown had a nice tackle for a loss of Jonathan Stewart in the first quarter.
Lorenzo Alexander bit hard on a fake and was beaten by Greg Olson for a first down on the opening drive. He then couldn't bring down Cam Newton later in the same drive for what would have been a third down sack. He ran 16 yards for a first down to keep the drive alive. He finally got to Newton for a sack late in the first half. He had nine tackles.
Ramon Humber whiffed tackling Newton on a 16 yard run on the opening drive, he thought he was going out of bounds but he didn't. He had nine tackles
Grade A: Solid effort from the guys in the middle shutting down the run and adding to the pressure on Newton.

Secondary:

Tre'Davious White was beaten for a third and 11 conversion by Kelvin Benjamin on the opening drive.
E.J. Gaines had a great pass breakup that was almost a pick six. He was called for a pass interference in the end zone.
Leonard Johnson was beaten by Benjamin for a 13 yard completion on the last play of the first quarter.
Micah Hyde was quiet and didn't get on the stat sheet.
Jordan Poyer let an interception that could have been a pick six go through his hands on the opening drive. He then broke up a pass to Benjamin in the end zone later in the drive with a hard hit to jar the ball loose. He then had another pass breakup in the end zone single handedly saving eight points as two TDs became FGs. He then sacked Newton in third quarter.
Grade B: Kept them in it.

Special Teams:

Colton Schmidt had six punts for a whopping 49.5 yard average and a 44.5 yard net with two dropped inside the 20.
Steve Hauschka hit his lone field goal attempt from 45 yards out... barely. It went off the right upright and through.
Kaelin Clay muffed one punt but Shareece White recovered. He had two punt returns for two yards with Brandon Tate inactive.
Taiwan Jones returned kicks with Tate inactive and never had a chance as all four kickoffs were touchbacks.
Coverage Units allowed only 30 yards on 6 punt returns and both kickoffs were touchbacks.
Grade B: Did their job.

Coaching:

Sean McDermott struggled with time management wasted a lot of time before calling a timeout on the goal line late in the game. He didn't use a timeout when he should have after a short Taylor scramble in the final minute.
Rick Dennison had no answers on offense. It was a vanilla gameplan that didn't throw it downfield until desperation time.
Leslie Frazier Had a fantastic gameplan and really kept Cam Newton on his heels.
Grade C: Average performance in this unit's first loss.



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