Carolina Panthers (3-4)
What they’ve done well: As the Panthers struggled to start the season, defensive end Julius Peppers called a team meeting and demanded more from his teammates. What made his speech effective was that he called himself out for making excuses and playing poorly. Since then, the Panthers have responded. The Panthers rank 7th in overall defense, giving up 288.1 yards per game. They have registered 17 sacks.
Needs improvement: It’s been a long year for quarterback Jake Delhomme. When he goes to bed at night he needs to say a special prayer of thanks that John Fox is his coach. For some reason Delhomme remains the starter despite the Panthers ranking 22nd in yards per pass attempt (5.3) and a 5-to-15 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Much of the responsibility falls on Delhomme’s shoulders because the offensive line is blocking well in the running game.
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