Sunday, December 15, 2013
First-half report: Panthers 16, Jets 6
By David Newton
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- An examination of three key issues in the first half as the Carolina Panthers lead 16-6 against the New York Jets at Bank of America Stadium:
Wide-receiver blocking: Carolina's wide receivers have been among the best in the league at blocking downfield. Brandon LaFell showed why. He completely tied up cornerback Dee Milliner to allow running back DeAngelo Williams to complete a 72-yard touchdown catch-and-run that put the Panthers up 13-6 with three and a half minutes left in the half.
Red-zone blues: A week after settling for field goals on two trips inside the New Orleans 20, the Panthers had to settle for two more on drives into the red zone. They not only failed to convert on first-and-goal from the New York 2, they lost 2 yards. It wasn't even close enough for a "Riverboat Ron'' moment. This from a team that came into the game having scored touchdowns 62.5 percent of the time in the red zone.
Where's the run defense? The Jets gashed the league's top-ranked run defense, giving up 79.4 yards a game, for 93 yards rushing in the first half. Keep that up in the second half and the Jets may call the front four the weak link of the defense.