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A look at Carolina's pass protection

1/6/2009

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

Carolina's offensive line got lots of attention this season as running backs DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart ran wild. That was justified, but it may have hidden how good Carolina's pass blocking has been. The team set a record by allowing a franchise-low 20 sacks throughout the season, and only one lineman was charged with allowing more than three sacks.

Rookie right tackle Jeff Otah surrendered a team-high five sacks, according to STATS. Left tackle Jordan Gross allowed three. Left guard Travelle Wharton allowed 2.5. Right guard Keydrick Vincent and top backup Geoff Hangartner each allowed two sacks. Center Ryan Kalil did not allow a sack. Jeremy Bridges and Frank Omiyale each got significant playing time and didn't allow a sack. The rest of the sacks allowed were charged to running backs and tight ends.

Gross was among the league leaders with seven false-start penalties, but the rest of the line fared pretty well in this category. Otah was called for five false starts. Vincent was flagged three times and Kalil twice. Omiyale had one false start. Wharton, Hangartner and Bridges weren't called for any false starts.