Mario Addison proving to be an unstoppable force on Panthers line
The Panthers have been bolstered by Addison’s play.
With the Carolina Panthers getting off to a 6-2 start, many players have had career years to this point in the season. Among those having tremendous success is defensive end Mario Addison. A stellar playmaker on the Carolina Panthers defensive line, he has been a key cog in the team’s defensive attack.
With three sacks against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Sunday’s win, Addison now has 7.5 sacks on the season. Per a report from Panthers.com, if he is able to match that production over the next eight games of the season, he will tie Greg Hardy and Kevin Greene for the franchise record with 15. His stellar performance so far this season is a continuation of what was a tremendous year last year. He tallied a career-high 11 sacks last season. It is safe to say that he will probably smash that record by the end of the 2018 campaign.
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With Julius Peppers gone at the end of this year, the Panthers are going to need someone who can replace the veteran leadership and consistency that he brings. Addison should be next in line. He plays with a toughness that seems to be the theme under new defensive coordinator Eric Washington. He is a playmaker and can get into the backfield quickly, terrorizing quarterbacks and running backs alike. As soon as he gets penetration off the line, good luck stopping him. Out of the eight games the Panthers have played in this season, he has recorded at least one sack in four of them.
After recording eight total tackles in both September and October, he has five so far this month. His three sacks in the Tampa Bay game alone were enough to eclipse his totals from September and October. He did not force a fumble in October, and he already forced one on Sunday. To put it simply, he has gotten stronger as the season has progressed. This bodes well for the Panthers as playoff time gets nearer. Players are beginning to wear down because of the longevity and physicality of a season. Addison seems to be getting stronger.
However, there is one caveat to all of this. I want to see Addison be able to put up these numbers during playoff time. I have no doubt that he can do it, but I’m wondering if his high-impact performances now will catch up to him come January (and hopefully February). I don’t think they will as he is a proven veteran who has done this many seasons before. He knows that it may take extra effort to win and as he has shown throughout the course of his career, he is willing to give that effort.
It has been great to see Addison perform well this season. He has been a key part of the Panthers defensive attack, and with names like Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis, he can be easily forgotten by the casual National Football League fan. If he keeps putting up monster games however, he will be a household name in no time and a Pro Bowl honoree by the end of this season.
Truth be told, he is in that conversation already.