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Week 1 vs. NYG
Passing: 0 - 2, 0 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT
Clausen only came in for a pair of plays and both his attempts fell incomplete. Once he wisely threw the ball away, but the other time he nearly made a costly error and seemed to try and force a play to happen. It's the sort of thing you expect from a rookie in his own end zone when his team is behind, but no less a dangerous throw. It will be interesting to see what Clausen is expected to do if Moore cannot get back on track.
Week 2 vs. TB
Passing: 7 - 13, 59 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: 1 / 0 / 0
On the limited number of snaps Clausen had on the field in the 4th quarter, he moved the offense better than Moore had all day. Granted, Tampa Bay were only rushing four for the most part and dropping everyone else back into zone. Clausen showed good zip on his passes, including a 19 yard completion to Steve Smith on 4th down to keep the drive alive. Clausen utilized the screen game to great effect, dumping it off to Mike Goodson and allowing the play to develop nicely.
Panthers beat writer Darin Gantt believes that Clausen will be the starter next week when the Panthers host the Bengals at home. If this last possession was anything to go by, Clausen will not be asked to do much in this offense, at least not early on. However, based on Moore's performance, the time to make the change is now for the Panthers.
Week 3 vs. CIN
Passing: 16 - 33, 188 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: 6 / 10 / 0
As you might expect, Jimmy Clausen started off slowly against the Bengals on Sunday. A disaster play marred the Panthers opening drive, when Clausen pulled out from under center too early and the snap was bobbled and fumbled. Later in the first quarter, a slant pass intended for Steve Smith was intercepted by Leon Hall, who read it all the way. Clausen locked in too tightly on Smith and never went through his progressions. Clausen improved as the game progressed, completing passes and making good decisions on the Panthers lone touchdown drive of the day. Clausen made several rookie mistakes today, but showed decent promise with his arm strength and decision making as the game went on.
Week 4 vs. NO
Passing: 11 - 21, 146 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT
Rushing: 2 / 11 / 0
Clausen played like, well, a rookie. He was eager to get the ball out of his hands quickly, at least in part due to great pressure from New Orleans at times, but also due to general nervousness. He did make his two best plays when he broke the pocket, one a long toss to Jonathan Stewart for the Panther first TD, made effortlessly on the run, and the other a bullet thrown as he was running to the sideline to fellow rookie David Gettis to keep the game alive on fourth down in the fourth quarter. Clausen had problems with batted balls - three of them - and also seemed to be out of synch with his receivers for the most part. The Panthers pass offense will remain anemic with Clausen at the helm.
Week 5 vs. CHI
Passing: 9 - 22, 61 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: 2 / 0 / 0
There was something off about Jimmy Clausen from the get-go on Sunday. Perhaps the most telling sign of the coaching staff's trust in him was the play calling on the Panthers first drive --- 8 runs, 0 passes. Clausen had a pass intercepted early in the game when OT Geoff Schwartz failed to execute his cut block on Julius Peppers correctly. Peppers batted down the Clausen pass and picked it off. Clausen does a few things well, especially when he rolls out of the pocket. He keeps his eyes downfield and has good zip on his intermediate throws to the sideline. Clausen also has some disastrous moments, such as his botched handoff to DeAngelo Williams when the ball seemed to slip out of his hand when he squeezed it. The biggest problem with Carolina's offense begins with the offensive line, and Clausen clearly lacks confidence right now in his line to protect him. Clausen can help them out by releasing the ball more quickly, which he failed to do on occasion in this game. The rookie is still very green and has a lot of work to do. He was benched late in the fourth quarter for Matt Moore.
Week 9 vs. NO
Passing: 8 - 18, 47 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: 1 / 11 / 0
If you look at the stat line, and saw the Pick-6 that Clausen threw, you probably think he was horrible. His interception wasn't that bad though, as it looks like it was kind of a miscommunication between him and Rosario. Rosario should have fought harder to come back to the ball. The rest of the day, Clausen was avoiding the blitz and trying to get out of the shadow of his own end zone. He wasn't helped by a couple dropped passes, and the fact that the running game was non-existent. The Panthers are terrible because their offensive line can't run block OR pass block. As such, it's just very hard to evaluate a rookie QB. But Clausen didn't look flustered and he did make a couple nice passes. He just had no time and when he did have time, his receivers didn't make any plays. Also, he finally hooked up with Steve Smith on a deep pass play, only to have Smith get called for offensive pass interference.
Week 10 vs. TB
Passing: 16 - 29, 191 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT
Rushing: 5 / 11 / 0
Clausen struggled against an improving, but unimpressive Tampa Bay pass rush as he completed just over 50% of his passes for fewer than 200 yards and zero scores. He did not turn the ball over, but just doesn't show the ability to make plays downfield, and all of this was despite an effective rushing attack.
Week 12 vs. CLE
Passing: 16 - 28, 195 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT
Clausen grew up a little in this game, making a few tough throws to almost pull out a win that he had given to the Browns with an interception that seemed to be based on miscommunication or a wrong route. Still, Clausen looked timid in the pocket, fading away from the line when pressure would come and showing little to no pocket presence or improvisational ability on most plays. He did make things happen on a few outlet passes to Mike Goodson and one lob to Brandon LaFell that LaFell couldn't secure inbounds, and Clausen also put the necessary mustard on a deep out to set up what should have been the game-winning field goal. Clausen still looks way behind Sam Bradford and Colt McCoy when it comes to not being overwhelmed and trying to make good things happen instead of just avoiding bad things, but he is improving a little each start. It's not enough to make Steve Smith a trustworthy start again, but it could be enough to keep the Panthers in another game or two, fueling the resurgent running game.
Week 13 vs. SEA
Passing: 18 - 34, 169 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: 1 / 0 / 0
Clausen started out the game looking as good as we've seen him look this year. Relying on a strong running game, Clausen was converting third downs, looking poised in the pocket and making accurate throws. After leading the team to two touchdowns, things fell apart. A terrible decision on third and one to run a play-action was compounded when Clausen threw to the fullback and Lofa Tatupu intercepted it and ran it back for a touchdown. From that moment on, Clausen couldn't do a thing until the final drive of the game. The play-calling became extremely predicatable, and the Seahawks blitzed Clausen and gave him little time to do anything. On the final drive, when the game was no longer in doubt, Clausen was able to put a drive together, but had receivers drop a few key balls and Clausen wasn't able to get it into the endzone. Clausen has certainly had a rough rookie season, and it will be interesting if he comes out stronger in 2011 or improves. As bad as he's had it though, he looked very poised in the first quarter and still made some very nice throws on the final drive, so Panthers fans can still have hope.
Week 14 vs. ATL
Passing: 14 - 24, 107 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT
Jimmy Clausen has gone over 190 passes without a touchdown to his team now, and the entire offensive performance by the Panthers was simply unacceptable. Clausen was sacked on four of his first five dropbacks, and the offensive line as a whole wasn't giving him much assistance. Clausen did make a nice play later in the game when he finally had the presence of mind to step up in the pocket and throw a dart down the field for a completion, but the rookie folds under any sort of pass rush. Clausen's passes are still batted down at the line of scrimmage too often and offensive coordinator Jeff Davidson clearly does not fully trust him. Steve Smith was critical of his quarterback after the game, saying he has "a lot to learn" about the NFL. Clausen has simply not performed up to the standards you would expect after six games as a starter.
Week 15 vs. ARI
Passing: 13 - 19, 141 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT
Rushing: 5 / 14 / 0
Jimmy Clausen put in a good game manager performance for the Panthers offense today. His lone touchdown pass of the day came on a throwback across the formation to a completely uncovered Jeff King. Clausen played confidently and made some nice completions on third down to Brandon LaFell. He looked for Smith down the field often and was very close to completing big pass plays. He was not spectacular by any means, but Clausen did enough to win the game.
Week 16 vs. PIT
Passing: 10 - 23, 72 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT
Clausen certainly isn't making the potential decision to select Andrew Luck at the top of the upcoming NFL draft a difficult one for Carolina. Even though he was facing one of the league's elite defenses, he looked so poor that even naming him a backup QB out of camp looks like a risky proposition. His 33.2 QB Rating in this game further solidifies his spot as the lowest-rated QB in the entire league. Clausen got little help, however, as it appeared that most of his teammates (chiefly his pass-catchers and defensive backs) were busy planning their Christmases back in Carolina. He threw some passes that weren't incredibly inaccurate but were dropped simply because his receivers didn't feel the need to stretch their arms the necessary distance to catch the ball. His interception was an overthrown deep pass, but receiver David Gettis could have done a better job of finding the ball and attempting to break up the interception.
Week 17 vs. ATL
Passing: 19 - 33, 182 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
Clausen was seemingly playing on an uphill slanted field all day long: He was constantly dealing with bad field position, 2nd-and-long's due to penalties, and a myriad of dropped balls and fumbles at the worst of times. Not to mention he was without his top receiving threat, Steve Smith. That said, Clausen gave some hope to discerning Panthers fans out there, if not your fantasy team. Let's break it down nice and simply. What Clausen did well: Threw with good accuracy, including on rollouts; dealt with pressure well (but had to far too often); showed good poise throughout while also playing with urgency. And in the end, he never gave up, throwing a pointless but nice pass to his tight end who got open on a delayed pattern. Now, what Clausen didn't do well: Didn't see the defensive end coming when throwing a swing pass from his own goal line, almost resulting in an easy defensive TD; forced the ball into coverage more frequently as he tried to extract his team out of jam after jam, and threw the inevitable interception as a result. Clausen played the game with the poise of a veteran and flashed some skill despite the lop-sided defeat. Give the man a better supporting cast and he just might be dangerous.