kpix-7-2013-masthead kcbs 7-2013-masthead

TALE OF THE TAPE

Tale Of The Tape: Carolina Panthers At Miami Dolphins

Carolina Panthers
Miami Dolphins
(credit: Rob Carr/Getty Images)
(credit: Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
(credit: Rob Carr/Getty Images)
(credit: Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Quarterback
Winner Cam Newton is proving to be one of the most improved quarterbacks in the NFL. He has come a long way this season in proving his consistency, and that’s why the Panthers have been able to climb the ladder so rapidly this season. Newton is a brilliant athlete who can make big plays with his strong arm or his quick feet.
The Dolphins may have pulled out a win against the Chargers in Week 11, but they are struggling to play consistently. Ryan Tannehill has the talent to throw short- and medium-range passes, but his long passing suffers and he lacks the leadership to bring the Dolphins victories in the fourth quarter. Tannehill’s 14-11 TD-interception ratio is not good enough.
Offense
Winner The Panthers are finding a true offensive identity this year and the running game has much to do with it. DeAngelo Williams has the skill and toughness to run inside and the speed to get to the outside and make a big play. Fullback Mike Tolbert is a load when he runs or catches a short pass. Steve Smith is fighting hard to get the Panthers back to the playoffs while Greg Olsen has dependable hands.
The Dolphins have not had a consistent running game all season. They have tried to establish Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas and both have had their moments, but opposing defenses can usually shut them down when the game is on the line. Wide receiver Brian Hartline is a solid route runner with dependable hands, but Mike Wallace is an inconsistent deep threat.
Defense
Winner The Panthers got off to a slow start, but the defense helped head coach Ron Rivera get the season turned around. The Panthers are big, strong, athletic and nasty on defense. They rank first in the league in fewest yards allowed. Middle linebacker Luke Kuechly is one of the best at his position in the league and he leads the team in tackles. Charles Johnson is a monster pass rusher.
The Dolphins have been ordinary on the defensive end and rank 21st in yards allowed. Middle linebacker Dannell Ellerbe has been one of the few consistent Dolphins defenders and he leads the team with 70 stops. Defensive end Cameron Wake is the Dolphins’ best pass rusher with 6.5 sacks, while fellow DE Olivier Vernon is right behind with 5.5. sacks.
Special Teams
Winner The Panthers have one of the most explosive return men in the league but he has yet to have a big return this season. Carolina is quite disciplined in its special teams coverage and rarely allows big plays. Graham Gano has made 13-of-14 FG attempts this season and is 5-of-5 on attempts of 50 yards or more.
The Dolphins have struggled with their special teams coverage and they have little chance of getting a big return from Marcus Thigpen, who is merely ordinary. Placekicker Caleb Sturgis has had an up-and-down season, but punter Brandon Fields has a strong leg and is averaging 49.3 yards per punt.

The Winner Is

(credit: Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Winner Carolina Panthers
4 out of 4

The Panthers have a big edge in toughness and skill, and that’s a difficult combination to beat. The only issue is that Carolina is coming off a high-profile Monday night game and they may not be at the top of their game.
-Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports contributor

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 21: Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants looks pon during warm ups prior to their game against the Houston Texans at MetLife Stadium on September 21, 2014 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 17: Actor Liam Neeson attends the Universal Pictures and Cross Creek Pictures with The Cinema Society screening of "A Walk Among the Tombstones" at Chelsea Bow Tie Cinemas on September 17, 2014 in New York City.
    Who Is Type-Casted More, Eli Manning Or Liam Neeson?

    Eli Manning always plays the same role. How does he compare to Liam Neeson, one of type-casting’s greats?

  2. ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 18: Wide receiver Devin Hester #17 of the Atlanta Falcons carries the ball against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during a game at the Georgia Dome on September 18, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia. SEATTLE, WA - JUNE 18: Amazon.com founder and CEO Jeff Bezos presents the company's first smartphone, the Fire Phone, on June 18, 2014 in Seattle, Washington. The much-anticipated device is available for pre-order today and is available exclusively with AT&T service.
    Is Devin Hester Or Amazon.com Better At Returns?

    Devin Hester of the Atlanta Falcons has an NFL record 20 returns for touchdown. But how does he stack up against Amazon?

  3. Photo Credit: Patrick Kovarik/AFP/Getty Images Annual Ugliest Dog Competition Held In Petaluma
    Tale Of The Tape: Petaluma Vs. Paris

    In it’s fall travel guide, Harper’s Bazaar has named Petaluma as the the “most coveted places to visit” this autumn, ahead of Nantucket, Seattle, Miami and even Paris. Yes, Paris. It sounded a little crazy to us, so we decided to measure the bucolic Sonoma County berg against the City of Lights. Take a look.

See All Tales of the Tape
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 53,931 other followers