Panthers' Final Report Card: Kickers

The Carolina Panthers' offense struggled for a majority of the season which meant the Panthers' kickers, Brad Nortman and Graham Gano, saw a lot of work in 2014. These are the grades for their performance this past season.

Brad Nortman

2014 Stats: 72 punts, 44.9 yards per punt average, 37.9 net yards per punt average, 2 blocked punts

Best Game: Week 17 at Atlanta

Notes: It is tough to give Brad Nortman a grade because punting the ball is much more than trying to kick as far as you can. Yes, that is a large part of it but if punters kick it so far their coverage team can’t get down the field quick enough, the opponent’s returner can field it cleanly and have room to work. The Panthers finished the year 31st in the NFL in net yards per punt with a total of 37.9 yards however Nortman finished 20th in the NFL in average yards with 44.9 yards. This stat would point to the fact that the Panthers’ special teams’ coverage wasn’t able to contain the opponent’s returner which isn’t necessarily Nortman’s fault.

Final Grade: C+


Graham Gano

2014 Stats: 29 field goals made, 35 field goals attempted, longest field goal of 53 yards, 34 of 34 on extra point attempts

Best Game: Week 2 versus Detroit

Notes: It was a tale of two seasons for Graham Gano. He started off the year great making 17 of 19 field goal attempts with six of those field goals being 40 yards or longer. The final six games of the regular season he wasn’t as reliable though making 12 of 16 field goal attempts. He saw his percentage go from 89% to start the year to 75% over the final six games.  It is hard to tell why the drop in accuracy but one thing that is certain is that Gano saw a ton of work in 2014. The Panthers offense struggled to score touchdowns and they looked to Gano to put points on the board. There was six games this year that Gano had three or more field goal attempts and had the seventh most field goal attempts in the NFL.

Final Grade: B-

Panther Insider Top Stories