By The Numbers…

December 2nd, 2011

As Joe has professed many times, the calculator crowd has nearly chased Joe away from baseball. Why, if you don’t subscribe to some convoluted, made-up forumla like a player’s OBGYN, born out of fantasy baseball, you are some moron, so the spreadsheeters will sneer.

It’s boring as hell, sorry.

That’s not to say numbers, to a degree, are not revealing, just not to the obscene level that has hijacked America’s pastime.

Fortunately, the numbers crowd hasn’t infested football like baseball. Again, like to some degree in baseball, numbers can illuminate areas of football.It is with this mindset that Scott Fowler of the Charlotte Observer looks into this weekend’s Panthers-Bucs games. Here are a few:

3-0: Carolina’s record when Cam Newton doesn’t commit a single turnover (the Panthers are 0-8 when he does, which really isn’t all Newton’s fault. A good team should be able to survive a miscue or two by its starter).

10 — Out of 11, number of games in which the Panthers (3-8) have held a lead this season. The only exception: their 30-3 loss to Tennessee.

8269 — Carolina’s total rushing yardage since the beginning of the 2008 season (when Jonathan Stewart joined DeAngelo Williams in the backfield). That ranks No.1 in the NFL in that span, with the New York Jets just 31 yards behind.

What does this boil down to? For the Bucs, it’s a simple three-word phrase “Run the football.” Newton is dangerous. The Panthers have a bruising running attack. In case you haven’t noticed of late, the Bucs are struggling stopping the run.

Combine this with the fact that only until recently have the Bucs been able to move the ball through the air, it’s a no-brainer that you use one of the best running backs in the game early and often.

Three-and-out drives that fry your defense by halftime is a recipe for disaster. The Bucs’ 31st-ranked, nearly-worn-down defense needs all the help it can get right now. That help is Blount.

Make the Panthers stop Blount. The numbers suggest that won’t happen.

5 Responses to “By The Numbers…”

  1. SteveK Says:

    I really hope Olsen reads this article.

    1: the number of clues this guys needs.

  2. Eric Says:

    Somehow the above stated info is not giving me a warm and fuzzy feeling about the outcome of the game.

    Josh v. Cam may be a great match up for many years to come. I could see those two facing off in an NFC Championship game someday.

  3. Captain Stagger Says:

    Cam is dangerous……I wish we had a dangerous QB….

    Outside of Blount no one on our team is dangerous.

    Time to slide the work bench aside cause we are moving into the basement.

  4. Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    Eric, the way Josh Freeman is playing lately, the ONLY face off he might win against Cam Newton is with a handgun.

  5. Eric Says:

    @Apple Roof Cleaning

    I meant after Cowher works with for a couple of years.