Five Questions/Answers w/ Scott Hamilton -Panther Maven
We take a look at the opponent through our "Eye on the Enemy" feature with Scott Hamilton from Panther Maven as the Redskins get ready to head on the road.
Our corresponding five questions and answers for Scott and Panther Maven is right here.
1. The Panthers have lost three in a row, they are (5-6). What is the No. 1 reason why they are floundering?
SH: It seems to change weekly. One week its because the Panthers' rush defense is getting gutted, another because Carolina is turning the ball over. Most recently, during their loss to the Saints, it was special teams. So perhaps the top reason is a lack of consistency across all phases of the game.
2. The Redskins did a good job against Christian McCaffrey last year at FedExField. What is the best way to go about stopping and/or limiting him?
SH: There is no one solution because McCaffrey is such a diverse player. He can make players miss, break arm tackles or run over some players. McCaffrey is a killer in space, but can also slip through tiny cracks -- and not only because of his physical gifts. His vision is as good as any player in the league. One way to stymie him is to have a spy on every play so he's accounted for with each snap. But you have to rotate who's covering him so that it not only keeps him from quickly calculating ways to break free, it will make quarterback Kyle Allen also pause for a moment. And keep pressure on Allen -- anything to make it more difficult to get McCaffrey the football.
3. Noticed that Kyle Allen is throwing a bunch more than I guess I expected. How has he developed and what are his strengths and weaknesses?
SH: His consistency mirrors the team's. He was nearly perfect during his first four starts, winning them all while passing for 901 yards, seven touchdowns and an interception. But then came a four-game stretch in which he was intercepted nine times and had only three touchdown passes. One strength is that he allows the fullness of the offense to be explored. He's not the primary weapon -- a role that falls upon Cam Newton when he's taking snaps. Instead he's an able distributor of the football who allows his play-makers to make plays. D.J. Moore is perhaps the best example of a player who benefits by having a Kyle Allen at quarterback.However, Allen sometimes holds the ball a little too long, leading to some sacks he likely shouldn't take. And a gunslinger mentality will pop up every now and then with him forcing throws into spots he should avoid. All typical mistakes of a second-year player who had one career start (last year's regular-season finale) before taking over this season in Week 3.
4. Mario Addison was here in 2012 -- I asked Ron Rivera about him earlier this week but in your eyes, what has made him such a good, consistent pass rusher for Carolina?
SH: Because he has self-awareness. Addison realizes that at 6-3, 260 pounds he's not going to muscle his way through a 300-pound-plus offensive lineman. And it's game over if they get their hands on him. So he uses his speed, quickness and agility to go around or under those bigger opponents. Addison is also really skilled at figuring out proper angles to the quarterback, picking the quickest way into the backfield to, again, really leverage his speed advantage.
5. Who should the Redskins be worried about on both sides of the ball? Keuchly? Reid?
SH: Luke Keuchly has to always be accounted for, but an inside linebacker is only as good as the guys in front of him. And the Panthers are still getting acclimated to playing a 3-4 defense after switching from a 4-3 scheme. That said, I think Addison and Bruce Irvin are two guys who can cause lots of problems, having combined for 12.5 sacks.
Offensively, McCaffrey is the obvious answer. Moore continues to be a really nice compliment. He's caught 68 passes for 908 yards and three touchdowns. Moore is a strong deep threat, but also good at making big games out of short catches and is perhaps the best blocker of the wide-outs.
Chris Russell is the Publisher of Maven & Sports Illustrated's Washington Redskins channel. He can be heard on 106.7 The FAN in the Washington D.C. area and world-wide on Radio.com. Chris also hosts the "Locked on Redskins" Podcast and can be read via subscription to Warpath Magazine. You can e-mail Chris at russellmania09@Gmail.com or follow him on Twitter at @Russellmania621.