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Old 01-07-2020, 07:14 AM   #1

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Dec 2019
Default He might have been playing with a chip on his shoulder
Add another spot as a "position of need"." />Skip to main contentclockmenumore-arrownoyesCat Scratch Reader homepageHorizontal - WhiteCat Scratch Readera Carolina Panthers communityFollow Cat Scratch Reader online:Follow Cat Scratch Reader on TwitterFollow Cat Scratch Reader on FacebookLog in or sign upLog InSign UpSite searchSearchSearchCat Scratch Reader main menuFanpostsFanshotsSectionsAboutPanthersOddsShopStubHubMoreAll 321 blogs on Horizontal - WhiteFanposts Fanshots Sections Keep Sounding PodcastPanthers 2019 Training CampCSR Film RoomCan we talk about the Panthers’ lame punt return game? New Thomas Davis Color Rush Jersey ,27commentsAdd another spot as a “position of need”.ESTShare this storyShare this on FacebookShare this on TwitterShareAll sharing optionsShareAll sharing options for:Can we talk about the Panthers’ lame punt return game? TwitterFacebookRedditPocketFlipboardEmailPhoto by Grant Halverson/Getty ImagesWe all know the Panthers need to upgrade the left tackle and defensive end positions heading into 2019. Mike Adams and Eric Reid are going to be free agents, so both safety positions need to get addressed. Carolina could also add some quality and depth at cornerback as well. But you already know about those roster gaps. I’m here to add another one: Punt returner!Yes, I just said punt returner. Just humor me on this one, okay? The Panthers’ weak return game has bugged me for the past couple of seasons and I’m probably not alone in feeling this way. Now is as good of a time as any to get this off my chest. The Panthers return game has been objectively bad over the last two seasons. With data taken from ESPN, Carolina’s average of 6.9 yards per punt return in 2017 and 2018 is among the bottom of the NFL:Worst yards per punt return, 2017-2018RankTeamReturnsYardsYards/ReturnRankTeamReturnsYardsYards/ReturnTo put that in context, five teams have averaged over 10 yards per return over the last two seasons - the Cleveland Browns (10.7), Pittsburgh Steelers (10.6), Washington (10.5), Houston Texans (10.5), and Arizona Cardinals (10.1). On average, the better punt returning teams have given their offenses an extra three-plus yards of starting field position than the Panthers over the last two years. That’s not necessarily going to be the difference between winning and losing most weeks, but according to the cliche police football is “a game of inches” and every yard helps. Part of the problem is the Panthers have cycled through a number of different returners since Ted Ginn’s departure after the 2016 season. Since then following players have all returned punts for Carolina: Christian McCaffrey (22) https://www.carolinapanthersfanshop....s-Payne-Jersey , Kaelin Clay (17), Damiere back next year. In his brief 17-game career Byrd has returned 12 punts for 113 yards, or a healthy 9.4 yards per attempt. It’s a small sample size but he has definitely shown potential. If it’s not Byrd next year then brace yourselves for the third straight season of rotating returners and more of the same sub-par results. CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Cam Newton was tired of the Carolina Panthers’ defense getting all of the glory.Newton took it as a challenge when the defense vaulted to the league’s No. 1 ranking last week, saying it was time for the offense to strive to match them.Newton did his part on Monday night, throwing for 254 yards and four touchdowns and running for 95 more as the Panthers piled up a franchise-record 548 yards in a 45-21 rout of the Miami Dolphins.“It’s nice to see them have this type of breakout game,” Panthers coach Ron Rivera said of the offense, which had 30 first downs and converted 11 of 14 third downs.Said Newton: “I still feel like we are scratching the surface of our potential in this offense. We have to trust in our ability to execute our coach’s plan.”Newton improved to 5-1 in Monday night games, while averaging 270.5 yards per game with 15 touchdowns and four interceptions.“There is something about this stage with him,” Rivera said. “He played a tremendous game.”Jonathan Stewart ran for a season-high 110 yards, and Newton had a 69-yard jaunt on a read option as the Panthers racked up 294 yards on the ground. It was Stewart’s first 100-yard game since last December at Washington.Rookie Christian McCaffrey scored touchdowns rushing and receiving, and Devin Funchess caught five passes for 92 yards and two touchdowns as the Panthers (7-3) remained a half-game behind the NFC South-leading Saints heading into their bye week.Newton had his share of fun on the field.After being tackled on his 69-yard run, an exhausted Newton laid on the ground smiling and shaking his body as if trying to get feeling back into his legs.Teammates joked with Newton that backup quarterback Derek Anderson could have scored on the play.“When you ain’t got no gas left and your check engine light is on and blinking https://www.carolinapanthersfanshop....-Jansen-Jersey , get gas at the next stop or so, man, you just have to try to celebrate when you can celebrate, brother,” Newton said. “I was just hoping coach didn’t come back with another run play for me.”He tiredly handed off on the next two plays.“Everything was fun out there,” said Funchess, who became the team’s No. 1 receiver when Kelvin Benjamin was traded to Buffalo two weeks ago.Jay Cutler had 213 yards passing with two touchdowns and one interception for the Dolphins (4-5), who have lost three straight. Jarvis Landry and Julian Thomas both caught TD passes for Miami.The game turned with 41 seconds left in the first half, when Luke Kuechly made a leaping interception along the sideline with Carolina leading 10-7.Four plays later, Newton connected with tight end Ed Dickson on a 7-yard touchdown pass. That opened the floodgates as the Panthers scored touchdowns on five straight possessions in their most explosive output of the season.“In an eight-minute span, the game got away from us,” Dolphins coach Adam Gase said. “It snowballed. We couldn’t prevent the big runs once they got going.”The Panthers had entered the game 21st in the league in total offense and 24th in scoring.“We get to watch them — that’s the fun part,” Kuechly said of the offense.It was a big game for Stewart https://www.carolinapanthersfanshop....e-Adams-Jersey , who fumbled twice in last week’s 20-17 win over the Atlanta Falcons.“He might have been playing with a chip on his shoulder, but we just wanted to get him to that second level,” Panthers offensive tackle Matt Kalil said.The Dolphins have put themselves in a difficult situation in a tight AFC playoff race.“There are pieces in the locker room. I truly believe that,” Cutler said.McCAFFREY STARTSThe Panthers gave McCaffrey the start at running back over Stewart, who fumbled twice last week against the Falcons. McCaffrey didn’t let them down, combining for 50 yards and two scores, including a nifty 4-yard touchdown run where he faked out two Miami defenders.McDONALD RETURNSDolphins safety T.J. McDonald returned to the starting lineup after serving an eight-game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, but it didn’t help the struggling Dolphins defense.DRAKE’S BIG RUNKenyan Drake provided the big play for the Dolphins, breaking free for a 66-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.NEWTON’S NUMBERSNewton passed Dan Marino for the third-most total yards (passing and rushing) in a quarterback’s first seven seasons. Newton trails only Peyton Manning and Matt Ryan in that category.INJURIESDolphins: Reported no injuries.Panthers: Rookie wide receiver Curtis Samuel left the game in the third quarter with an ankle injury after dropping a would-be touchdown pass in the end zone. … Center Tyler Larsen suffered a foot injury but returned to the game.UP NEXTDolphins: Host the Buccaneers on Sunday in a game that was rescheduled from Week 1 because of Hurricane Irma.Panthers: Visit the Jets on Nov. 26 after a bye.
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