Patriots O-Line vs. Panthers D-Line
The Patriots offensive line suffered a major blow Week 8 against the Dolphins, when Sebastian Vollmer was lost for the season. Marcus Cannon came in and has filled in well since then, but it is clear that the O-line needs to be better in giving Tom Brady more time to work in the pocket. This was prevalent in the second half of the Pats 55-31 win over the Steelers, when the offense put up 28 fourth quarter points to crush Pittsburgh as Brady was given more than enough time to work around the field. The O-line has allowed Brady to be sacked 26 times on the season, tied for 11th most in the league.
The Panthers defensive line has shown good pass rush with the low amount of yards the team has given up through the air, as well as protection against the run where they are ranked even higher. The Panthers have sacked opposing quarterbacks 29 times for 214 total yards lost, sixth best in the league.