ESPN’s Jaworski: Todd Bowles’ blitzing scheme will allow Arizona Cardinals to beat Carolina Panthers
The last time Arizona and Carolina met on the football field, the Cardinals beat the Panthers 22-6.
However, that was 453 days ago. It shouldn’t have much of a bearing on what happens when the same two teams meet in an NFC Wild Card playoff game Saturday in Charlotte, should it?
ESPN NFL insider Ron Jaworski thinks it does.
“I went back to the game last year played between the Cardinals and the Panthers. I know the players are different, but the coaches are not,” he told Burns and Gambo Friday on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “I’m a big believer that coaches coach against coaches. They don’t change a whole lot, coaches don’t. Other coaches know what to expect and how to line up and play them.
“I went back and looked at that tape and clearly Todd Bowles owned Mike Shula, the Carolina offensive coordinator.”
The Panthers did amass 353 yards of offense, but the Cardinals sacked Carolina quarterback Cam Newton seven times and forced four turnovers.
“In that game, Todd Bowles blitzed Cam Newton on 27 of 47 dropbacks — that’s over 50 percent of the time,” Jaworski said. “On those 27 blitzes, Newton went 10-of-20, was sacked seven times and threw three interceptions.
“Clearly, Todd Bowles had the number of Cam Newton, Mike Shula and the Carolina offense. That’s why I think Carolina will lose this game, because of the blitzes.”
This season against the blitz, Newton has been decent. The fourth-year quarterback has completed 57.5 percent (84-of-146) of his passes for 1,074 yards, six touchdowns and six interceptions.