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Why the Panthers scoring struggles aren't as bad as they appear on the surface

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There is no doubt that there are fundamental issues with the Carolina offense that need to be improved, including chemistry with new pieces, consistency from Cam Newton coming off surgery, and health. However, things aren't quite as bad as they seem. Red zone woes and a failure to create turnovers have exaggerated the offensive struggles. Between minor anamolies in those departments, Carolina has left 7 PPG per game on the table. Here's how I got that number.

The Panthers are a combined 2-8 at converting red zone opportunities into touchdowns this season. That means that out of a possible 56 points in the red zone, Carolina has only scored 32, leaving 24 points on the board. Or, averaged out over 3 games, 8 points per game. If the Panthers had converted even half of those lost opportunities (5-8 would be 62.5%, right in line [with league average]. (https://www.teamrankings.com/nfl/stat/red-zone-scoring-pct), they would average 4 PPG a game more. That would take them from 15 PPG, 29th in the league to 19 PPG, 18th in the league. Remember, red zone statistics are [somewhat random].(http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/page/BarnwellNFLPreview160729/nfl-best-worst-red-zone-means-2016-season)

Despite demonstrating traits of a dominant unit (1st in yards allowed/2nd in points allowed), the Panthers defense has only forced 2 turnovers in the team's first 3 games. They're currently on pace to force 11 turnovers this year, which would've been the fewest in the NFL last year. That seems unlikely to continue. Even if we assume the Panthers simply force turnovers at an average rate this year (and Carolina has been 7th, 1st, and 10th in turnovers forced the past 3 seasons respectively so there's reason to think they'll be above average again), we'd expect Carolina to have created twice as many turnovers as they have as of now. How does that translate to points? If we operate under the premise that turnovers are worth 4 points (this is a bit loose, but this works in a general sense [as explained here], (http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stat-analysis/2003/how-many-points-turnover-worth), the Panthers have created an average of 2.5 PPG via turnovers in 2017. Creating turnovers at an average rate (the Falcons were the median last year with 22 turnovers) would translate to an average of 5.5 PPG via turnovers -- that's an average of 3 PPG left on the table b/c of turnovers not being forced.

Add that 3 PPG from the turnovers to the 4 PPG from the red zone woes and you have 7 points missed out on per game. That's the difference between scoring the 4th fewest points in the NFL (15 PPG) and being exactly league average (22 PPG).

Again, there's plenty of reason for concern, but hopefully these numbers help you realize that it's not quite time to panic yet.

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don't see anything changing no matter what kind of positive spin you try to put on it. This coaching staff, who I have supported until this season, has shown that they are totally unwilling to adapt and and make adjustments. Our plays are 100% predictable and will remain so. Nothing tells me our coaches will change 

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38 minutes ago, Daddy_Uncle said:

don't see anything changing no matter what kind of positive spin you try to put on it. This coaching staff, who I have supported until this season, has shown that they are totally unwilling to adapt and and make adjustments. Our plays are 100% predictable and will remain so. Nothing tells me our coaches will change 

Lol did you actually read the post? The defense forcing more turnovers has nothing to do with the predictability of the playcalling 

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The only word anyone needs to focus on in your paragraphs is "if". Any team can say "if". If the Bills had done this or that, they would've won. If you want to change minds around here, don't dwell on the past with an "if" or hope for an "if". Give actual data that means something.

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10 minutes ago, Still Brooklyn said:

The only word anyone needs to focus on in your paragraphs is "if". Any team can say "if". If the Bills had done this or that, they would've won. If you want to change minds around here, don't dwell on the past with an "if" or hope for an "if". Give actual data that means something.

"Give actual data." Lol half the post is data! 

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We're 26th in the league in yardage and 29th in points. Sorry, you can't sugarcoat that. Our yardage ranking and ppg ranking are relatively similar which is roughly what you'd expect. It's not like our points production is drastically trailing our yardage production which is what you'd expect if we were only having redzone issues while moving the ball well outside the redzone. Yeah, we've sucked in the redzone for sure, but we've sucked outside of the redzone too. Hell, I don't feel like any of this actually needs explaining if you're actually watching the games. 

Edited by LinvilleGorge
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Sorry, there's no spin that can be done here. Shula sucks. Our coaches suck. And in turn our offense sucks.

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There's a lot more wrong than the defense forcing turnovers. We cannot. Move. The ball.

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9 minutes ago, LinvilleGorge said:

We're 26th in the league in yardage and 29th in points. Sorry, you can't sugarcoat that. Our yardage ranking and ppg ranking are relatively similar which is roughly what you'd expect. It's not like our points production is drastically trailing our yardage production which is what you'd expect if we were only having redzone issues while moving the ball well outside the redzone. Yeah, we've sucked in the redzone for sure, but we've sucked outside of the redzone too. Hell, I don't feel like any of this actually needs explaining if you're actually watching the games. 

No team last year finished with 25% TD conversion rate in the red zone. As bad as Carolina's been this year, there's no way it doesn't improve at least a little bit. 

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good luck trying to inject any positivity in this joint.

most these people love seeing the team fail for some odd reason. even when you back up points with evidence they shun you for not going with the negative groupthink.

no wonder lots of good posters don't come around here anymore. too many trolls and doomsday kids over a 2-1 season who'd love nothing more than the panthers to be blown out every single game from henceforth.

Edited by Saca312
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oh, yeah, by the way we moved the ball against the bills a crapton and would've left with 20+ points had we nailed it in the endzone on each of the times we were there. our offense wasn't complete crap.

i'd dare say the saints surprise is an abnormality rather than the norm.

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3 minutes ago, Saca312 said:

good luck trying to inject any positivity in this joint.

most these people love seeing the team fail for some odd reason. even when you back up points with evidence they shun you for not going with the negative groupthink.

no wonder lots of good posters don't come around here anymore. too many trolls and doomsday kids over a 2-1 season who'd love nothing more than the panthers to be blown out every single game from henceforth.

When the team gives us something to be positive about, we'll be positive.

Right now our QB is playing hurt, he's missing his best weapon, our offensive coordinator is a confused dunce who doesn't know how to change things up, or utilize the players we do have and tries to force players into his scheme. There's a myriad of things wrong with these offense. And while they probably won't stay THIS bad all season, our problems aren't something that can really be addressed or changed to make us a playoff or Superbowl Calibur team.

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