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Evolution, Adaptation, and the Mike Shula Offense


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Good article.  One minor quibble or perhaps more of a question.  You wrote:


Mularkey's defense was relentless, and Mike Shula went three quarters without making adjustments to counter it.

Yet, we scored TDs on our 1st 2 possessions, so it seemed as if we did have some early success against their D.

But yes, after those 1st two drives, we had 4 drives end in punts, and two red-zone attempts end in field goals, before again having a very nice TD-scoring drive in the 4th.

What was different with our offense and Titans' defense on drives 1 & 2 when we moved the ball 143 yards and scored two TDs vs. drives 3 through 6 when we gained a net total of 14 yards?  Did Tenn make defensive changes in the 2nd quarter?

Anyway, I agree very much with your thesis about Shula's successful adaptation in the long-term picture.  It's been nice to see.game plans seemingly well-designed for our offensive strengths & weaknesses.

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We're only 10th in Football Outsiders' Offensive DVOA by the way.


DVOA is a method of evaluating teams, units, or players. It takes every single play during the NFL season and compares each one to a league-average baseline based on situation. DVOA measures not just yardage, but yardage towards a first down: Five yards on third-and-4 are worth more than five yards on first-and-10 and much more than five yards on third-and-12. Red zone plays are worth more than other plays. Performance is also adjusted for the quality of the opponent. DVOA is a percentage, so a team with a DVOA of 10.0% is 10 percent better than the average team, and a quarterback with a DVOA of -20.0% is 20 percent worse than the average quarterback. Because DVOA measures scoring, defenses are better when they are negative.


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I am a bit surprised at the lack of original artwork given last week's events. Something involving Ms Plorin, her daughter, and our so-called oversexed QB.

Unfortunately, I'm challenged by stick figures, so no help will be coming from this corner. 

Any aspiring artists out there in Huddlelandia?

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The old adage of "If you aren't progressing, you are regressing" seems apropos. Certainly no one can deny the progress of the team over last year. Even more obvious is the amazing fact that they've done it with key injuries throughout the season. And while yes the evolution of the football mechanics, whether it be play calling, design, maturation, experience or what have you, the evolution of the locker room seems to me the most telling.

I've not seen a team this together, this cohesive, this determined in my foggy memory. There is so much about this team that reminds of a well drilled and combat tested unit in the military. In fact, I think military analogies for this team are very appropriate with the state and team ties to the military. They remind me of a unit that has seen it all, believes in each other and recognizes their own strengths and weaknesses. In short, they seem to embody the motto Keep Pounding as well, if not better, than the 2003 Cardiac Cats. Even the Huddle and Roaring Riot have eclipsed the other fan bases. What a glorious time to be a Panthers fan...both on and off the field. Great job Philly...again.

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