The Carolina Panthers secured their third win in a row to advance to 4-3 in the 2013 NFL season. This win was monumental for the Panthers, bringing them to above .500 since 2008. In the last three weeks, the Panthers have been very efficient with the ball. They kept their focus and executed well on both offense and defense. It has been difficult to pick out specific players on the Panthers to comment on, because the whole team has been doing their job and making plays.
A major improvement from the Panthers is how well they manage the clock and move the ball efficiently down the field.
In the first two weeks, the Panthers’ offense struggled with protecting the ball and getting first downs. Their time of possession was horrible and really put the pressure on their defense, however, things have changed for the better.
In Week 8, the Panthers traveled to Florida to compete against division rival Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Panthers’ defense was put on the field first, and forced the Buccaneers into a quick punt situation in less than two minutes. The Panthers’ offense took the ball on the 30 yard line. They drove down the field in 15 plays and scored a touchdown, taking a solid nine minutes off the clock. The offense was fantastic utilizing all their players; they played very smart and didn’t try to force any deep plays.
The Panthers out possessed the Buccaneers in the first quarter by six minutes. The second quarter was a little different, however. The Buccaneers were able to put a few drives together and score a field goal. However, the Panthers still took plenty of time off the clock by getting first downs and extended their drives further. In the third quarter, the Panthers once again took control of the game and out-possessed the Buccaneers by a whopping eight minutes.
The Panthers had their way with the Buccaneers’ defense. Quarterback Cam Newton took control of the game and was almost impossible to stop.
In the Last three games, the Panthers have controlled the tempo of the game. On average, the Panthers out-possessed their opponents by over nine minutes. In their three losses, the Panthers only out-possessed the opponents by less than three minutes.
Time management is crucial for teams. It allows them to control the pace of the game. This also means the offense is able to create plays and get first downs, giving their defenses a chance to rest. The Panthers have been destroying their opponents, scoring over 30 points in each of their four wins. Not only has the offense been doing their job and scoring points, but the defense has been allowed to do their job, holding five of their seven opponents to 15 points or less.
The Panthers need to continue with their current game plan. They need to continue to mix up the play calling and spread the ball to as many weapons as possible. If the Panthers’ control the pace of the game and out-possess their opponents, they will have a great chance at winning games in the future.