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QB Derek Anderson - Carolina Panthers

6-6, 240Born: 6-15-1983College: Oregon StateDrafted: Round 6

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Week 16: vs Cleveland Browns

Mark and Joe say: Neutral matchup. Derek Anderson did a fine job (again) in relief of Cam Newton, winning his second start of the year during Week 16 with 25/40 for 277 yards, one TD and zero interceptions thrown during the 19-17 victory. Greg Olsen (13 targets for 10/110/0 receiving) and Kelvin Benjamin (13 for 8/104/0) were his main targets last week, but Jerricho Cotchery (five for 5/57/1) handled the lone TD pass from Anderson. The early word on Newton this week is as follows: head coach Ron Rivera said on Monday 'I don't want to put a guy out there that can't protect himself. By that it's being able to run out of the way, scramble out of the way, stay alive, keep the play alive by being able to get away. That's all part of it. That's all part of the decision that went into the first Tampa Bay game.' The team has a rehab program for Newton, and his status will be determined based on if he can meet the rehab goals during the week. Stay tuned to's Players in the News as we get closer to the weekend to determine if Newton will start on Sunday or not. Anderson is doing a good job for Carolina as the interim starter, so there is no need to rush Newton back into action. The Browns' D faces this situation - with rookie Johnny Manziel under center, the Browns' offense couldn't sustain drives during his first start, leading to a 38:52 to 21:08 time of possession disparity in favor of Cleveland last week (leading to fatigue for the Browns' over-worked defenders). As Manziel is in the saddle to stay for this season, their defense is likely to face another endurance test this week - Cincinnati piled up 45/244/3 rushing in the other phase of the game last week. If Carolina can do something similar, whoever is under center won't need to pass the ball much on Sunday. This is a neutral matchup as of midweek because we don't know if Cam will be running the football on Sunday - if his back can take ball-carrying duties. It is likely that either quarterback won't need to throw the ball a lot as the Cleveland offense is currently a horrid mess with a new rookie quarterback facing his second NFL start this week.

Recent Stats and Projections

14 at NO 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
15 vs TB 25 40 277 1 0 5 14 0 0
16 vs CLE PROJ-Tremblay 4 7 * * * 1 * * *
16 vs CLE PROJ-Bloom 0 0 * * * 0 * * *

Recent Game Summaries

2014 Week 15 vs TB (25 / 40 / 277 / 1 / 0 pass, 5 / 14 / 0 rush)

Despite showing some jitters in the pocket and lacking sharpness in the red zone, Derek Anderson remained cool and calm to get the Panthers over the line. Anderson relied heavily on the smooth route-running and soft hands of Greg Olsen early on, working the football between the hashes as he got into a comfort zone. Once there, he never let up. When the protection afforded him time, he was able to find an open man with a timing and rhythm not normally seen in this offense. Anderson and rookie Kelvin Benjamin in particular seemed to have excellent understanding and timing on in-breaking patterns. A strong running game gave Anderson a solid platform to work from, and he took advantage of the Bucs' eagerness to stuff the run in the red zone for his lone touchdown pass. After a strong play fake, Anderson managed to squeeze the football in to veteran Jerricho Cotchery on a skinny post. However, that was the Panthers' lone red zone opportunity that resulted in a touchdown as penalties and poor play up front scuppered their chances. Anderson was even able to show off his running ability for a first down or two, much to the amusement of the on-looking Cam Newton. In as solid a performance as you could expect from a back-up, Anderson deserves a lot of credit.


Latest News

Panthers | Cam Newton on track to start? (Thu Dec 18, 01:17 PM) - Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (back) had an increased set of repetitions in practice Thursday, Dec. 18, and it looks like he's on track to play in Week 16 against the Cleveland Browns. Head coach Ron Rivera has yet to name Newton the starter, though, but he showed no signs of pain for the second straight day. Newton has been showing good velocity on his throws and hasn't had restrictions with his movement. QB Derek Anderson took second-team reps Thursday.

Our View: We're still concerned about Newton for this weekend, and have him as a middle-of-the-road QB2. The injury, the lack of weapons and even the Cleveland defense give us some concern—added together Newton won't be his usual QB1 self.
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Panthers | Cam Newton back at practice (Wed Dec 17, 01:12 PM) - Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (back) returned to practice Wednesday, Dec. 17, and he worked with the second-team offense in the portion of practice open to the media. QB Derek Anderson worked with the first-team. Newton's status for Week 16 against the Cleveland Browns is uncertain right now, but he looked to be moving and throwing well Wednesday. He also ran and make some juke moves without difficulty.

Our View: It looks like Newton could be back in action this week. Head coach Ron Rivera said he had hoped to make a decision on the starting QB early in the week.
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Panthers | Derek Anderson leans on Greg Olsen (Tue Dec 16, 06:39 PM) - Carolina Panthers QB Derek Anderson had 15 passes of 10 or more yards in Week 15 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and six of Anderson's passes of 10 or more yards went to TE Greg Olsen, who had 10 catches for 110 yards in the game. Anderson tends to lean more on Olsen as he holds the ball longer in the pocket and goes through his progressions. Olsen had eight catches for 83 yards in Week 1 when Anderson started.

Our View: Hey, we give it up to Anderson for his performances while Cam Newton has been out. When Anderson starts, he forces the ball to both Olsen and Kelvin Benjamin...and that's not a bad thing.
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Panthers | Derek Anderson to start in Week 15 (Wed Dec 10, 01:59 PM) - Carolina Panthers QB Derek Anderson will get the start in the team's Week 15 game, according to head coach Ron Rivera.

Our View: Zero surprise here. Newton's car wreck may knock him out for the rest of the season. Anderson has a rocket arm, but he does struggle with accuracy sometimes. We're expecting the game plan to include a lot of handing off. When Anderson does throw, expect him to lock onto TE Greg Olsen and WR Kelvin Benjamin.
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Panthers | Cam Newton to miss practice (Wed Dec 10, 01:19 PM) - Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (back) will not be at the team's facilities Wednesday, Dec. 10, after being discharged from the hospital. It is unknown how long it will be until he's ready to return to action. 'That will be determined really on a day-to-day basis and we'll see how fast the soreness goes away,' team spokesman Charlie Dayton said. 'He'll start the recuperation process today.' QB Derek Anderson was taking first-team repetitions in practice Wednesday.

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16vs Cleveland Browns
17@ Atlanta Falcons