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Carolina Rebounds Big Loss With Win Over Jets

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By Danny Cox

CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 15: Mike Tolbert #35 of the Carolina Panthers rolls into the end zone for a touchdown against the New York Jets during play at Bank of America Stadium on December 15, 2013 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Panthers won 30-20. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

(Credit, Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

The NFC South may only be a two team race, but it is boiling down to be one of the most interesting and intriguing ones in all of the NFL. The Carolina Panthers appeared to be headed for disaster after a big loss last week, but they rebounded this week by taking down the New York Jets and watching the New Orleans Saints upset by the St. Louis Rams.

Coaching:

A balanced attack has seemed to be the focal point of the Panthers all season, and it didn’t change as they faced off with the Jets. There were 260 yards through the air and just over 130 yards on the ground with the plays almost evenly split between the two attacks. Ron Rivera wasn’t willing to say that New Orleans was the better team last week, and now he simply believes that the “ball is in our court.”

If he does feel that way, the Panthers are going to have to attack the Saints defensively like they did the Jets.

Grade: A

Offense:

The 392 yards of total offense is nothing to be ashamed of, and neither is not committing a single turnover and producing in every aspect of the game. Cam Newton let his arm do the talking instead of his legs and it amounted to 273 yards through the air and one touchdown to DeAngelo Williams.

Speaking of the ground game and Williams – he finally showed signs of his old self as he ran for 81 yards on 15 carries for a 5.4 average. Tight end Greg Olsen led the way with 88 yards on five receptions, but Williams had 87 yards on three catches thanks to a 72-yard pass play from Newton.

Grade: A

Defense:

Captain Munnerlyn had an awful game against the Saints and made it known that it wouldn’t happen again. Thanks to Santonio Holmes saying that the Panthers secondary was the “weakest link” of their defense, Munnerlyn stepped it up with two sacks and also had a pick-six of 42 yards.

Geno Smith was also sacked four times, but the Panthers did give up 157 yards on the ground. There was not one Jets player that stood out, but combined, they ate up the yardage on the ground.

Grade: B

Special Teams:

Graham Gano hit all three of his field goal attempts with the longest coming from 40 yards. Brad Nortman didn’t have a whole lot of work to do as he punted a mere two times, but ended up with a 46-yard average.

Ted Ginn Jr. returned two kickoffs for an average of 16 yards, so nothing overly exciting or too helpful for the Panthers. Luckily, they did just fine through the other aspects of the game.

Grade: B-

For more Carolina Panthers news and updates, visit Carolina Panthers Central.

Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. Danny is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com.

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