Hardy Plays Hard
Coming into Sunday’s game, Freeman had been pressured on 30% of his drop-backs. Against the Panthers, however, Freeman faced pressure on just over 43% of his drop-backs, in large part due to the outstanding play of Greg Hardy. Lining up in multiple spots along the defensive line, Hardy terrorized Donald Penn and the Tampa Bay offensive line to the tune of 11 combined QB disruptions, including a sack and three QB hits. His best stretch came midway through the fourth quarter, when he pressured Freeman three times in a span of five plays, as he beat Penn twice to the inside and then got into the backfield on a stunt. Only a penalty for encroachment on 3rd-and-short and a missed tackle kept Hardy’s grade of +4.1 from being even higher.
– Coming into the game, no quarterback had thrown for more yards on deep passes than Josh Freeman. But against the Panthers, Freeman was just one of six for 24 yards on such passes.
– Panthers rookie Frank Alexander came away with five QB disruptions while logging his highest snap total of the season.
– After a four game stretch in which he forced 31 missed tackles rushing, Doug Martin has eluded just three tackles on the ground in his past two games.