It's the desperate (1-6) Carolina Panthers against the quickly sinking (3-5) Washington Redskins at FedEx Field tomorrow. We'll have your coverage beginning at 9 AM with "Redskins Game Plan" featuring Larry Michael & myself. Then the official KIA Motors Redskins Pregame show with Kevin Sheehan & everyone live from Landover begins at 10, followed by kickoff at 1 with Larry, Sam, Sonny & Doc -- all followed by the MBUSA Redskins Post Game Show with Al Galdi - featuring 1-on-1 interviews with Mike Shanahan and Robert Griffin III.
With that said, let's go "Inside the Numbers" and see what they tell us about this do-or-die death match in the Redskins final game before the bye.
**The Panthers have lost five in a row, losing a 23-22 heartbreaker in Chicago last Sunday, after blowing a 19-7 lead at the beginning of the fourth quarter. According to Bryan Strickland of Panthers.com -- "In their three previous games, they led two late in the fourth quarter and were one yard away from taking a lead late in the other one."
**A trend that you would think benefits the Redskins is also part of Strickland's game story http://bit.ly/QOVUWy is that in 2011, the Panthers were 1-5 in games decided by a touchdown or less. This year, they're already 0-5.
***The Panthers are allowing 23.9 PPG, and 43% on 3rd Down conversions. They're on the field for 32 + minutes per game in time of possession average. They are yielding 343.9 yards per game, and 5.3 yards per play. That's certainly not a great number but it is 0.9 yards per play less than the Redskins defense is allowing.
***With 24 rushing yards on Sunday, Robert Griffin III would join Alfred Morris in the 500 + yard club. When he does, Griffin and Morris would be the first EVER rookie QB/RB tandem to each eclipse the 500-yard mark.
***Robert Griffin III wants absolutely nothing to do with the comparisons between Cam Newton and himself. For whatever reason, he really doesn't like it. I think I know the reasons, but that's just an assumption on my behalf. Either way, Newton's sophomore professional season has been a struggle - but his rookie season was fantastic. Last week I compared Griffin vs Newton side by side in their rookie campaigns through the first 7 games each played.
In case you missed it (shame on you) -- Newton in first 7 NFL games had 57 rushing attempts., 266 yards, 7 rushing TD, in 2011. Robert Griffin III in his first 7 games, has 64 rushing attempts, 468 rushing yards, 7.3 average/rush, 6 rushing touchdowns.
In the passing department, Cam Newton was (152-252) 60.3%, 2,103 passing yards, 8 passing touchdowns, 9 interceptions in first 7 NFL games. Griffin III is (133-189), 70.4%, 1,601 yards, 7 touchdowns, 3 interceptions.
Now that Griffin has played 8 games, Newton's adjusted half season (8 GP, 2011) rookie numbers looked like this. Newton was (174 - 287, 60.6%) 2,393 passing yards, 11 TD passes, 9 Interceptions. Newton had 63 rushing attempts for 319 yards (63-319) an average of 5.06 yards per attempt and 7 rushing touchdowns.
Griffin III's rookie numbers look like this, in the same 8 games. Griffin is (149-223, 66.8%) 1,778 passing yards, 8 TD passes, 3 Interceptions, 70 rushing attempts for 476 yards (70-476), an average of 6.8 yards per attempt, and 6 touchdowns.
The numbers tell us, Robert Griffin III is right for the most part. There is no comparison.
***Redskins long-snapper Justin Snow who has done a more than admirable job since replacing Nick Sundberg (short term I-R) on the 53-man roster plays in his 200th career game on Sunday. It was likely be his last with the Redskins, as Sundberg is eligible to return after the bye against Philadelphia.