It took a lot of searching, but we finally came up with a category in which the 1-11 Carolina Panthers lead the league. AFC South colleague Paul Kuharsky alerted me to this Wednesday.
Kuharsky dug up a list of how many three-and- outs each offense around the league has had this season. Kuharsky was doing this because he had a suspicion the Jacksonville Jaguars were pretty good in this category. He was right. The Jaguars have had just nine three-and-outs. That’s the fewest in the league. No other team is even close, although an NFC South team is tied for the runner-up spot, and we’ll have more on that in a bit.
The Panthers were horrible in this category. They easily have had more three-and-outs than any team in the league. They’ve done it 44 times. Chicago and Detroit are next in line with 41 each.
Now, let’s go through the rest of the NFC South, which fares much better than the Panthers in this area (and many others). The New Orleans Saints are the team I was referring to in the runner-up spot. They’ve had just 23 three-and-outs and that ties them with Houston and Indianapolis.
Also, NFC West colleague Mike Sando did a little more research on this and broke down three-and-outs by division. The NFC West has a league-high 155 three and outs. The AFC South has the fewest with 90. The NFC South has 123, which is the third-fewest of any division.