The Carolina Panthers defense seems to be finding its stride in recent weeks. They gave up 28 points to the Buccaneers Graham Gano Jersey
, but only ceded 4.6 yards per play to what had been the NFL’s best offense in terms of offense coming into the week. That performance was preceded by holding the Eagles and Ravens to 17 and 21 points respectively, both below those team’s averages. But tonight’s test will be tougher than any of the previous three. The Pittsburgh Steelers enter this Week 10 showdown ranked fourth in the NFL in total yards and ninth in scoring. They scored 74 total points in their last two home games, which is part of a four game winning streak they’re currently riding. Even without Le’Veon Bell, the Steelers offense is humming. With little time to prepare, it’s unfair to expect the Panthers defense to completely stifle Ben Roethlisberger and company. The Steelers are going to move the ball. They’re going to score points. But there are things the defense can do to give the Panthers a chance:Tighten up in the red zone. The Steelers have the second most efficient red zone offense. The Panthers have the second least efficient red zone defense. Weird stuff happens on Thursday nights, and that needs to be the case here. With the Steelers boasting too many weapons to completely shut down, the Panthers defense will need to force field goal attempts instead of touchdowns at the very least. As an added bonus Daryl Williams Jersey
, kicker Chris Boswell has missed three of his ten field goal attempts and four extra point tries, so field goal attempts are not free points for the Steelers. Get Ben Roethlisberger all the way to the ground. Big Ben is one of the league’s best quarterbacks at escaping from sacks. Whether it be because his feet are planted so firmly in the ground that he won’t fall or because he makes an ill advised pass while in the grasp of defenders that somehow doesn’t get intercepted, he’s almost unsackable. The Steelers are one of only three teams that have allowed fewer sacks than the Panthers this year, giving up only 11 all year. The Panthers have averaged a respectable three sacks per game over their last three, with defensive end Mario Addison accounting for four total during that stretch. They need to build off that momentum tonight. Limit run after catch yards. The Steelers have three players in the top twenty in total yards after catch this season- Antonio Brown, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and James Conner. All three are dynamic with the ball in their hands http://www.pantherscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-dontari-poe-jersey
, so the secondary and the linebackers need be sure with their tackling. The Panthers defense will be stretched to their limit tonight, but recent performances suggest that they could be up to the task. The Steelers defense, while better lately, is fallible. Just like last week, the defense just needs to make a few big plays and key stops to give the Panthers a chance to win.Panthers WR D.J. Moore wins his first (unofficial) NFL award As Carolina Panthers fans we watched Cam Newton win Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2011followed by Luke Kuechly winning Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2012. We know what it’s like to see talented first round draft picks make significant impacts during their rookie seasons. Well, we can add another prestigious award to the list:D.J. Moore was named to PFF’s Preseason Week 1 NFL Team of the Week!While this recognition doesn’t quite measure up to the hardware Cam and Luke took home, it’s still a great starting point for Carolina’s first round pick. In his first NFL preseason game D.J. racked up four receptions for a team-high 75 yards. On those four receptions Moore showed off his trademark elusiveness by juking about 20 would-be tacklers (unofficially) Cheap Ryan Kalil Jersey
, weaving his way to extra yardage that seemingly didn’t exist. His PFF grade of 90.2 was second-highest among wide receivers and earned him the following praise from PFF:Moore’s elusiveness was almost shocking to see from a rookie facing his first NFL competition. Each of Moore’s receptions can be seen here if you want proof. On his first reception he showed his elusiveness on a wide receiver screen by jumping over an arm tackle, darting toward the sideline, and picking up seven yards. On his second reception he showed his strength by dragging Lafayette Pitts about six yards and only going down after getting gang tackled after a 21 yard gain. On his third reception he showed his smarts by coming back for an underthrown deep ball, putting on the brakes and adjusting before the corner back could react. He picked up 32 yards on the play. The most spectacular play was his fourth and final reception. Moore lined up wide right and ran a shallow crossing route over the middle. He caught the pass about one yard past the line of scrimmage, hit the brakes, and sent the first Bills defender flying past him, grasping at air. Moore broke toward the sideline where he juked a second tackler Cheap James Bradberry Jersey
, stiff-armed a third tackler, and was ultimately pushed out of bounds by the fourth tackler. He turned a short reception into a 16-yard gain. I had to do a double-take to make sure he wasn’t wearing No. 89 and the telecast wasn’t showing old Steve Smith highlights. In the end, PFF saw what we all saw: D.J. Moore looked really, really good in his first NFL action. Let’s just hope this PFF recognition is the first of many meaningful awards to follow.