How Jimmy Clausen and the Carolina Panthers' Offense Have Offended Many

Patrick Clarke@@_Pat_ClarkeCorrespondent IDecember 23, 2010

Rookie quarterback Jimmy Clausen has been thrown into the fire in his first season in Carolina.
Rookie quarterback Jimmy Clausen has been thrown into the fire in his first season in Carolina.Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Jimmy Clausen and the Carolina Panthers' offense have struggled to no end this season.

That is not to say Jimmy Clausen is solely responsible. The rookie has had virtually no time in the pocket, and after all, Matt Moore was supposed to be Carolina's guy this season.

Kudos to Clausen for hanging in there. But regardless of the effort and heart, we have to take a look at how pitiful the Panthers' offensive attack, or lack there of, has been in 2010.

Right out of the gate, we notice Carolina ranks last in the NFL in scoring offense (13.1), total offensive yards (266.1), passing yards (149.3), yards per play (4.3) and first downs per game (14.7).

Those five statistics speak directly to Carolina's difficulties this year.

If there is one bright spot though, it's the Panthers' ground attack. Surprisingly, the running backs average 116.8 yards on the ground, which ranks 12th in the league.

That doesn't quite get them out of the dog house however, and tonight's bloodbath in Pittsburgh is sure to add to the shocking numbers.

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Arguably one of the major factors in Carolina's offensive failure this season has been the quarterback quandary.

Veteran quarterback Matt Moore began the season as the Panthers' starter until he was replaced by rookie Jimmy Clausen.

Clausen has showed some promise this season despite only throwing two touchdowns in eight starts.

Compare that to Matt Moore's five touchdowns and 10 interceptions in five starts, and we quickly find that neither signal caller has much of a case.

The Carolina running backs have stood out this season however, as both Jonathan Stewart and Mike Goodson have averaged 4.5 yards per carry on a combined 244 carries.

There is likely hope for this offensive unit.

Carolina can retool this offseason. The Panthers will decide which direction they want to go at quarterback (Clausen has proven to be a tough competitor already), and surely come back in 2011 with much more with new personnel under a new head coach.

But for no,  let us soak in this pitiful display of offensive ineptitude at the game's highest level.

Thank you 2010 Carolina Panthers for a season many fans would soon like to forget.

Patrick Clarke is a student at Towson University and a writing intern for Bleacher Report.