For Starters: Only seven players - three on offense and four on defense - started all 16 games in 2009. All three players on offense were linemen: Travelle Wharton, who made nine starts at left guard and seven at left tackle, center Ryan Kalil and right guard Keydrick Vincent. Defensively, linebacker Jon Beason, defensive tackle Damione Lewis, and cornerbacks Chris Gamble and Richard Marshall opened every game.
Southern Comfort: The Panthers ended the 2009 season with a 4-2 record against their NFC South foes - splitting with Atlanta and New Orleans and sweeping Tampa Bay. Carolina has a 29-19 overall mark in the NFC South since the division was formed in 2002.
What A Rush: Carolina averaged 156.1 rushing yards per game and set team records with 2,498 rushing yards, 525 rushing attempts and 123 rushing first downs this season. The Panthers eclipsed the previous marks of 2,437 rushing yards in 2008, 522 rushing attempts in 2003 and 118 rushing first downs in 2008. Carolina's average of 4.76 yards per attempt and 18 rushing touchdowns stand as the second-most in franchise history behind the team records of 4.84 yards per attempt and 30 rushing touchdowns in 2008.
Double Trouble: Running backs Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams became the first set of teammates in NFL history to each rush for more than 1,100 yards in the same year -Stewart with 1,133 and Williams with 1,117. Five teams previously boasted two players with 1,000 yards rushing in a season.
Hot Stew: Running back Jonathan Stewart led the Panthers with a career-high 1,133 yards and 10 touchdowns on 221 attempts for an average of 5.13 yards per carry this season. His 1,133 yards and 10 touchdowns rank as the third-highest totals in team history, while his 5.13 yards per carry stand as the fourth-highest in team history. Only DeAngelo Williams with 1,515 yards and 18 touchdowns in 2008 and Stephen Davis with 1,444 yards in 2003 and 12 touchdowns in 2005 have accumulated more rushing yards and touchdowns in a season than Stewart.
Stewart compiled more than 100 yards rushing five times, including in the final three games. He equaled the team record for the third-most 100-yard games in a season and tied the team mark for the second-most consecutive 100-yard rushing performances. Williams holds the team record with eight 100-yard rushing efforts in 2008, while Williams in 2008, Nick Goings in 2004 and Davis in 2003 share the team record with four consecutive 100-yard rushing games.
Stewart ended the season by rushing for a touchdown in three consecutive games - with three and two yard runs versus Minnesota, a 29-yard scamper at the New York Giants (12/27/09), and a 67-yard gallop versus New Orleans (1/3/10) - to match the team record for the second-most consecutive games rushing for a touchdown. Williams holds the team mark with eight consecutive games rushing for a touchdown in 2008.
Drafted by the Panthers in the first round in 2008, Stewart has gained 1,969 yards on 405 attempts in two seasons. He ranks second in team history with a 4.86-yard average rushing gain and is tied for second with 20 rushing touchdowns and seven 100-yard games.
Williams Pro Bowl Back: Running back DeAngelo Williams earned his first Pro Bowl selection after finishing second on the team with 1,117 yards and seven touchdowns on 216 carries for an average 5.17 yards per attempt. He was inactive for three games, including the last two, with a sprained ankle suffered at the New York Jets (11/29/09) and re-injured versus Minnesota (12/20/09).
Williams became the first player in team history to record back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons after gaining a team-record 1,515 yards in 2008. His 5.17 average yards per carry rates as the third-highest in team history behind his team-record 5.55 average in 2008 and the 5.20 average by Tshimanga Biakabutuka in 1999. Williams set a team-record for the longest run from scrimmage with a 77-yarder at Arizona (11/1/09), surpassing the previous mark of a 75-yard run by him at Arizona (10/14/07).
Williams ranks first in team history with 3,850 rushing yards, 30 rushing touchdowns, 5.11-yard average rushing gain and 15 games with 100 or more rushing yards and is second with 754 rushing attempts.
Moore Matt Under Center: Quarterback Matt Moore completed 85-of-138 passes for 1,053 yards and eight touchdowns with two interceptions to produce a 98.5 quarterback rating in seven games with five starts. He directed the Panthers to a 4-1 record after taking over as the team's starting quarterback. Moore established single-game highs with 33 attempts, 21 completions and 299 yards versus Minnesota (12/20/09), three touchdowns versus Minnesota (12/20/09) and at the New York Giants (12/27/09), and a 75.0 completion percentage and 139.8 quarterback rating at the Giants (12/27/09).
In eight career starts, including the last three games of the 2007 season and the final five games of the 2009 campaign, Moore has posted a 6-2 record as a starter. Seven of his eight starts have come against teams with winning records with the exception being Tampa Bay (12/6/09). In those eight starts, Moore has completed 128-of-205 passes for 1,554 yards and 11 touchdowns with three interceptions to generate a 97.5 quarterback rating.
Delhomme Boy: Quarterback Jake Delhomme started the first 11 games this season before suffering a broken right middle finger at the New York Jets (11/29/09) and being placed on injured reserve (12/24/09). He completed 178-of-321 passes for 2,015 yards and eight touchdowns with 18 interceptions. Delhomme ranks as the Panthers' all-time leader with 2,669 pass attempts, 1,580 completions, 19,258 passing yards, 120 touchdown passes and 11 games with 300 or more passing yards.
Smitty Stats: Wide receiver Steve Smith led the Panthers with 65 receptions for 982 yards and seven touchdowns this season. He ranks first in team history with 58 total touchdowns [50 pass, 6 return, 2 run] and 32 games with 100 or more receiving yards, is tied for first with 50 receiving touchdowns, and stands second with 574 catches, 8,330 receiving yards, and 350 points scored.
Moose Tracks: Wide receiver Muhsin Muhammad finished the season second on the team with 53 receptions for 581 yards and one touchdown. He ranks first in franchise history with 696 catches and 9,255 receiving yards, is tied for first with 50 receiving touchdowns, stands second with 50 total touchdowns and 27 games with 100 or more receiving yards, and is third with 304 points scored.
Tight Ends Make Contributions: Tight ends Dante Rosario, Jeff King and Gary Barnidge combined to total 63 receptions for 755 yards and five touchdowns in 2009. Rosario paced the trio with 26 catches for 313 yards and two touchdowns. Of his 50 career receptions, 35 (70.0 percent) have yielded a first down or touchdown. The steady King made 25 catches for 200 yards and a career-high three touchdowns. Over the last three seasons, he has started 46 games. Second-year pro Barnidge averaged 20.2 yards per catch on 12 receptions for 242 yards with a long of 55.
In The Zone: Carolina was successful on 34-of-40 red zone opportunities, scoring 20 touchdowns and 14 field goals for an 85.0 percent conversion rate and 50.0 percent touchdown conversion rate this season.
Ball Security: The Panthers did not commit any turnovers in a team-record six games, surpassing the previous mark of five in 2009. Carolina finished the season by not turning the ball over in a team-record four consecutive games. The Panthers had previously not turned the ball over in two consecutive games on six occasions - most recently at the New York Giants (12/21/08) and at New Orleans (12/28/08). The last team to have four consecutive games without a turnover was New England in the last three games of 2006 and the first game of 2007. The last team to have four consecutive turnover-free games within one season was Denver in 2005.
Takeaway/Giveaway: The Panthers finished the season with a plus-six turnover margin after forcing 37 turnovers on 22 interceptions and 15 fumble recoveries and committing 31 turnovers on 20 interceptions and 11 fumbles lost. In the final 10 games Carolina collected 30 takeaways and committed only 10 turnovers for a plus-20 turnover ratio after generating just seven takeaways and turning the ball over 21 times for a negative-14 turnover ratio in the first six games. The 37 takeaways led to 86 points for the Panthers, and the 31 giveaways resulted in 100 points for their opponents.
Safety Net: The tandem of free safety Charles Godfrey and strong safety Chris Harris contributed to 10 of the Panthers' 20 takeaways in the last six games. Godfrey thieved his second-career interception versus Tampa Bay (12/6/09) and caused fumbles at New England (12/13/09), versus Minnesota (12/20/09) and versus New Orleans (1/3/10).
Harris created a turnover in five consecutive games. He forced a fumble at the New York Jets (11/29/09), intercepted a pass versus Tampa Bay (12/6/09), coaxed a fumble at New England (12/13/09), recovered a fumble and picked off a pass versus Minnesota (12/20/09), and heisted an interception at the New York Giants (12/27/09). Harris has a knack for taking the ball away. In 2007, he led the NFL and set a Panthers' single-season record with eight forced fumbles. In addition to the eight forced fumbles, Harris recovered three fumbles and posted one interception to play a role in eight of Carolina's 30 takeaways.
Down On The Corner: Cornerbacks Chris Gamble and Richard Marshall tied for the team lead with four interceptions. Gamble has led or tied for the team lead in interceptions in five of his six seasons with the Panthers since being selected in the first round in 2004, while Marshall has led or tied for the team in three of his four seasons with Carolina since joining the team as a second-round draft choice in 2006.
With interceptions in three consecutive games at the New York Jets (11/29/09), versus Tampa Bay (12/6/09) and at New England (12/13/09), Gamble tied the team record for the second-most consecutive games with an interception, previously accomplished three times - most recently by Eric Davis in 1999. The team record is six by Doug Evans in 2001.
Gamble ranks second in team history with 24 interceptions and 283 interception return yards and is tied for second with two interception returns for touchdowns behind Davis with 25 interceptions and Mike Minter with 418 interception return yards and four interception returns for touchdowns. Marshall is tied for sixth with 11 career interceptions, stands fourth with 224 interception return yards and is tied for second with two interception returns for touchdowns.
Stingy Defense: Under first-year defensive coordinator Ron Meeks, the Panthers played a swarming, ball-hawking defense that showed steady improvement throughout the season, allowing only six touchdowns in the last six games. The unit finished the year ranked among the NFL leaders in several defensive categories.
|Total Yards Per Game||315.8||8th|
|Passing Net Yards Per Game||191.0||4th|
|Passing, Percent Intercepted||4th||4.4%|
|Third Down Efficiency||35.5%||7th|
|Points Per Game||9th||* 19.3|
|* If the seven touchdowns scored by opponents on fumble, interception, kickoff and punt returns are not included, the Panthers defense allowed 16.1 points per game.|
Beason Tackles Record: Linebacker Jon Beason set a team single-season record with 169 tackles, breaking his own record of 160 as a rookie in 2007. After just three seasons, he holds the top-three single-season tackle totals in team history with 169 in 2009, 160 in 2007 and 159 in 2008. Beason ranks third in team history with 488 tackles behind Mike Minter with 953 and Mike Rucker with 553. In addition to his 169 tackles, Beason made a team-high 12 tackles for losses, tied for third on the team with three interceptions, collected the first three sacks of his career and registered one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries.
Sack Party: Carolina gathered 31 sacks this season with defensive linemen accounting for 24.5 of them. Defensive end Julius Peppers led the team with 10.5 sacks. Defensive end Tyler Brayton finished second with a career-high five sacks, bettering his previous best of 4.5 in 2008. Top draft choice Everette Brown notched 2.5 quarterback takedowns, the most by a Panthers rookie since Peppers with 12 in 2002.
Red Hot Peppers: Defensive end Julius Peppers posted 10 or more sacks for the sixth time in eight seasons and earned his fifth-career Pro Bowl selection. He finished the year with a team-leading 10.5 sacks, 35 quarterback hurries and five forced fumbles to go along with 55 tackles, two interceptions and one fumble recovery. He ranks as the Panthers' all-time leader with 81.0 sacks, 29 forced fumbles and eight blocked field goals, and is tied for second with seven opponent fumble recoveries and two interception returns for touchdowns.
Kasay Kicks Back: Kicker John Kasay connected on 22-of-27 field-goal attempts and 31-of-32 extra-point opportunities for a team-leading 97 points this season. He had a team-record streak of 157 consecutive extra points snapped versus Minnesota (12/20/09). Kasay ranks seventh in NFL history with 408 made field goals and ninth with 1,731 points scored and is the Panthers' all-time leader with 1,390 points scored and 328 field goals.
Baker's Treat: Punter Jason Baker finished the season with a gross average of 44.1 yards and net average of 36.6 yards on 76 punts with 22 inside the 20, four touchbacks, one block and long of 61 yards. He ranks as the Panthers' all-time leader with 409 punts and 128 inside the 20.
Lloyd's of London: Kickoff specialist Rhys Lloyd placed 41-of-72 kickoffs in the end zone with 21 touchbacks this season. He helped limit opponents to an average kickoff drive start of the 26.7-yard line.
Panthers Highs and Lows:
• Three consecutive wins to end the season equal the second-most consecutive wins to end a season - previously accomplished in 2003. The team record is eight in 1996.
• Three consecutive losses to begin the season are the third-most consecutive losses to start a season behind the seven consecutive losses to begin 1998 and five consecutive losses to start 1995.
• Three two-point conversion attempts equal the second-most in a season - previously accomplished four times, most recently in 2003. The team record is four in 2001.
• Two successful two-point conversions equal the most in a season - previously accomplished four times, most recently in 2004.
• Two safeties equal the most in a season - previously accomplished in 1996.
• 14 first downs gained via penalty are the fewest in a season. The previous low was 17 in 2008.
• 1,023 total plays are the third-most in a season behind the 1,029 in 1995 and 1,025 in 1996.
• 5,297 total net yards are the third-most in a season behind the 5,686 in 1999 and 5,595 in 2008.
• 2,799 net yards passing are the second-fewest in a season behind the 2,694 in 2002.
• 11 fair catches equal the fewest in a season - previously accomplished twice, most recently in 2005.
• 51 kickoff returns are the second-fewest in a season behind the 50 in 1996.
• 1,015 kickoff return yards are the fewest in a season. The previous low was 1,083 in 2005.
• 19.90 kickoff return average is the third-lowest in a season behind the 19.10 average in 2007 and 19.35 average in 2006.
• 23 fumbles equal the second-fewest in a season - previously accomplished twice, most recently in 2005. The team record is 21 in 2006.
• 88 penalties are the third-fewest in a season behind the 84 in 2000 and 87 in 2001.
• 109 rushing first downs allowed are the third-most in a season behind the 115 in 1999 and 112 in 1997.
• 155 passing first downs allowed equal the second-fewest in a season - previously accomplished in 2002. The team record is 149 in 2006.
• 976 plays allowed are the fewest in a season. The previous low was 981 in 2005.
• 495 passing attempts allowed are the second-fewest in a season behind the 490 in 1997.
• 1,997 rushing yards allowed are the third-most in a season behind the 2,301 in 2001 and 2,133 in 1998.
• 4.44 average rushing gain allowed is the second-highest in a season behind the 4.56 average in 2000.
• 15 rushing touchdowns allowed are the third-most in a season behind the 19 in 2004 and 17 in 1995.
• 14 passing touchdowns allowed are the fewest in a season. The previous low was 15 in 2005.
• 193 opponent yards lost attempting to pass are the third-fewest in a season behind the 177 in 2007 and 167 in 2001.
• Opponents' 44.76 gross punting average is the third-highest in a season behind the 45.89 average in 2008 and 45.09 average in 2005.
• 452 punt return yards allowed are the third-most in a season behind the 579 in 2007 and 554 in 2002.
• 11.02 punt return average allowed is the third-highest in a season behind the 11.50 average in 2003 and 11.26 average in 1997.
• 51 kickoff returns allowed are the third-fewest in a season behind the 50 in 2002 and 32 in 1996.
• 24.84 kickoff return average allowed is the highest in season, exceeding the previous high of a 23.80 average in 2007.