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Carolina Panthers

Panthers-Dolphins Postgame Notes

The Series: With the 24-17 victory, Miami leads the all-time series against Carolina 4-0, making the Dolphins one of two teams - along with the Houston Texans - that the Panthers have never defeated.

For Starters: The Panthers shuffled the left side of their offensive line after Jordan Gross was placed on injured reserve with a broken right ankle (11/17/09). Travelle Wharton moved from left guard to left tackle, where he started 33 games from 2005-07, and second-year pro Mackenzy Bernadeau, who did not play as a rookie in 2008, made his first NFL start at left guard. Also on offense, tight end Dante Rosario started his third game of the season as the Panthers began in a two-tight end set.

Defensively, rookie defensive end Everette Brown made his first NFL start, opening in place of Julius Peppers who was limited by a hand injury suffered at New Orleans (11/8/09). Rookie Sherrod Martin started his fourth consecutive game at free safety in place of Charles Godfrey, who was sidelined with an ankle injury sustained versus Buffalo (10/25/09).

Inactives: The following eight players were inactive for the Panthers: quarterback A.J. Feeley (third quarterback), safety Charles Godfrey, running back Mike Goodson, fullback Brad Hoover, defensive end Charles Johnson, wide receiver Kenneth Moore, guard Duke Robinson and defensive Hilee Taylor.


Rookie Show: Rookie running back Tyrell Sutton handled kickoff return duties for the Panthers and averaged 26.5 yards on four returns with a long of 32 yards. He lined up as the deep man last week versus Atlanta (9/15/09), but all five kickoffs were touchbacks. Rookie cornerback Captain Munnerlyn continued to serve as the team's punt returner. He returned three punts for 20 yards and has posted a 9.1-yard average on 19 returns this season.

After being signed from the practice squad on Tuesday, rookie wide receiver Charly Martin made his NFL debut and contributed on special teams. Rookie tackle Garry Williams saw his first NFL action, appearing on special teams. He had been inactive for eight of the first nine games and dressed but did not play in another.

Gaining Ground: Behind an offensive line featuring Travelle Wharton at left tackle, Mackenzy Bernadeau at left guard, Ryan Kalil at center, Keydrick Vincent at right guard and Jeff Otah at right tackle, the Panthers rushed for 182 yards on 27 attempts for an average of 6.7 yards per carry against a Dolphins run defense that entered the game ranked seventh in the NFL, allowing an average of 97.6 yards per game and 3.7 yards per carry. Carolina is averaging 159.1 yards rushing per game and 5.0 yards per rush this season, including an average of 200.3 yards per game and 5.5 yards per rush in the last six games.

DeAngelo Does It Again: Running back DeAngelo Williams rushed for a team-leading 122 yards on 13 carries to compile his fourth 100-yard rushing effort this year and third in the last four games. He scored on a two-point conversion run following a fourth-quarter touchdown. Williams leads the Panthers with 982 yards and seven touchdowns on 181 carries this season and is third on the team with 22 receptions for 224 yards.

Smitty Stats: Wide receiver Steve Smith paced the Panthers with seven receptions for 87 yards and one touchdown, scoring on a 27-yard catch in the fourth quarter. He leads the Panthers with 45 receptions for 599 yards and four touchdowns this season.

Under Center: Quarterback Jake Delhomme completed 19-of-42 passes for 227 yards and one touchdown with one interception to produce a 60.3 quarterback rating. He threw a 27-yard touchdown to wide receiver Steve Smith in the fourth quarter and was sacked a season-high four times. Delhomme has completed 164-of-287 passes for 1,885 yards and eight touchdowns with 14 interceptions this season.

Baker's Treat: Punter Jason Baker became the Panthers' all-time leader with 122 punts inside the 20 by equaling his single-game high of four punts inside the 20, previously accomplished seven times - most recently at Oakland (11/9/08). He broke a tie with Todd Sauerbrun, who had 118 inside-the-20 punts from 2001-04. Baker finished the game with a gross average of 42.0 yards and net average of 36.0 yards with four inside the 20, no touchbacks and long of 46 yards on five punts. His gross average fell to 45.3 yards and his net average remained at 36.2 yards with 16 punts inside the 20, three touchbacks, one block and long of 61 yards this season.

Mighty Kasay: Kicker John Kasay connected on all three of his field-goal attempts, converting from 29, 33 and 48 yards. He has been successful on 11-of-15 field-goal attempts and perfect on all 20 of his extra-point opportunities for a team-leading 53 points this season. Kasay ranks seventh in NFL history with 397 made field goals and 11th with 1,687 points scored - including a franchise record 1,346 for the Panthers - and has made a team-record 155 consecutive extra points.

Takeaway/Giveaway: Carolina did not force any turnovers for the third time this season after previously not generating any takeaways at Dallas (9/28/09) and versus Buffalo (10/25/09). The Panthers turned it over once on an interception to finish with a minus-one turnover ratio. The one giveaway led to no points for Miami. The Panthers have a negative-eight turnover ratio this season.

House Of Blues: The Panthers wore their blue jerseys for the second time this season and 15th time overall since debuting them in 2002. Carolina has sported the blue jerseys twice in prime time, and both occasions have occurred when the Panthers appeared on the NFL Network - versus Dallas (12/22/07) and versus Miami (11/19/09). Carolina owns a 7-8 regular-season mark when wearing the blue tops.

Prime Time Panthers: Carolina's all-time record fell to 9-14 in prime time during the regular season with the loss. This represented the first time the Panthers ever played on Thursday night and their second-ever appearance on the NFL Network after previously hosting Dallas (12/22/07). Of their 23 prime time games, 11 have been on Sunday night, nine on Monday night, two on Saturday night and one on Thursday night.

Claw Marks: Defensive end Julius Peppers forced his fourth fumble of the season when he caused Dolphins running back Lousaka Polite to lose the ball in the third quarter. Peppers ranks as the Panthers' all-time leader with 28 forced fumbles...Running back DeAngelo Williams ran for a two-point conversion in the fourth quarter. It was Carolina's second successful two-point attempt this season after wide receiver Steve Smith caught a two-point pass from quarterback Jake Delhomme following a touchdown versus Washington (10/11/09).

Fish Tales: Dolphins running back Ricky Williams tied the record for the second-most touchdowns in a game by an opponent with three, previously achieved three times - most recently by Joseph Addai for Indianapolis (10/28/07). Williams scored two rushing touchdowns and one receiving. Michael Turner for Atlanta (11/23/08) holds the record for most touchdowns by an opponent with four.

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