Despite RBs, Panthers struggle with play action

Here’s a stat (courtesy of ESPN Stats & Information) that I find amazing when you consider that the Carolina Panthers have one of the league’s best backfields in DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart.

When it comes to passing off play-action fakes, the Panthers do it a lot, but they’ve had very little success with it. Quarterback Jake Delhomme ranks 38th in the league among quarterbacks who have thrown at least 10 passes off of play-action with a 54.0 rating.

Delhomme has completed 42 of 75 passes off play-action for 534 yards with six touchdowns and four interceptions.

For context, New Orleans’ Drew Brees ranks 12th with a 112.9 rating. Brees has completed 57 of 86 passes for 728 yards off play-action with nine touchdowns and three interceptions. Atlanta’s Matt Ryan has an 86.3 rating, which ranks him No. 26 and he’s thrown off play-action 63 times.

Tampa Bay’s Josh Freeman hasn’t thrown off play-action enough to appear on the list yet, but the Bucs didn’t have much success earlier. Josh Johnson had a 59.9 rating while he was playing.