Panthers Ron Rivera: This is playoff time, you cannot lose focus

Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera was asked about the playoff experience during a press conference on Monday, January 1, 2018. Rivera said that the team's game on Sunday, December 31, 2017 against the Atlanta Falcons reminded him of the 2013
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Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera was asked about the playoff experience during a press conference on Monday, January 1, 2018. Rivera said that the team's game on Sunday, December 31, 2017 against the Atlanta Falcons reminded him of the 2013
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Carolina Panthers

How did the Panthers statistically finish out the regular NFL season?

By Jourdan Rodrigue

jrodrigue@charlotteobserver.com

January 01, 2018 05:26 PM

The Carolina Panthers head into their wild-card game at New Orleans next week with an 11-5 record. Here’s a look at some notable statistics at the conclusion of the regular season:

Offense

▪  The Panthers finished No. 19 in the NFL in total offense, at 323.7 yards per game.

▪  The Panthers had the league’s No. 28 passing offense (192 ypg) and No. 4 rushing offense (131.4 ypg). Carolina tied with Dallas at No. 18 in receiving touchdowns with 22, and tied with San Francisco and Minnesota at No. 7 in rushing touchdowns (15).

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▪  Quarterback Cam Newton carried the team’s rushing attack, with a team-high 47.1 rushing yards per game (5.4 yards per carry). The per-game average is a career-high for Newton.

Running back Jonathan Stewart finished with 45.3 rushing yards per game (3.4 yards per carry), both career-lows. Running back/receiver Christian McCaffrey finished with 27.2 yards per game and 3.7 yards per carry.

▪  Newton finished 291-for-492 (a 59.1 completion percentage), for 3,302 yards, 22 passing touchdowns, 16 interceptions and had six rushing touchdowns. He was sacked 35 times. His 16 interceptions were the second-most in his career (he had 17 in his rookie season) and his 206.4 passing yards per game were a career-low as was his 49.6 quarterback rating.

▪  McCaffrey finished with a team-high 80 catches, the second-most receptions by a rookie running back in the league (behind Alvin Kamara of New Orleans). His five receiving touchdowns rank second on the team behind Devin Funchess’ (eight).

▪  Carolina finished No. 7 in the NFL in third down conversion percentage at 41.9.

▪  The Panthers also finished the regular season with a league-low in offensive penalties (83, for 632 yards). The highest number of offensive penalties in 2017 were awarded to the Seattle Seahawks (148) for a total of 1,342 lost yards.

Defense

▪  The Panthers ranked No. 7 in total defense with 317.7 yards allowed per game, and No. 11 in scoring defense with 20.4 points allowed per game.

▪  Carolina was No. 3 in rushing defense (88.1 yards per game), No. 3 in sacks (50) and No. 18 in passing defense (229 yards per game).

▪ Defensive ends Mario Addison and Julius Peppers tied for the team lead in sacks (11 each), and defensive tackle Kawann Short had 7.5.

▪  Carolina allowed third-down conversions on 37.9 percent of opposing attempts, No. 13 in the NFL.

▪ Getting takeaways was an issue for the Panthers, who finish the regular-season with 21 (tied for No. 16). The team has a minus-1 differential (meaning it had one more giveaway than takeaway in 2017).

▪  Linebacker Luke Kuechly led the team in tackles with 125. Kuechly’s fifth consecutive Pro Bowl season also included 1.5 sacks, three interceptions, a forced fumble, two recovered fumbles (one a 34-yard scoop-and-score) and five passes defensed.

Jourdan Rodrigue: 704-358-5071, @jourdanrodrigue