With the Bucs coming to town it was a must-win game and against a divisional opponent. Time to break down the abysmal performance by the offense.
I don’t want to say the sky is falling because of this loss. The last time the Panthers started 0-2, they finished 12-4 and won the division. But there was only a hand full of players that even showed up for Carolina. It was easily the toughest Panthers game to watch in a long time. Almost as bad as Jake’s 6 turnover game in the 2008 playoffs against the Cards, the people were chanting for Tebow after the game. Yikes. It all starts with Cam and the O Line.
It’s hard to find positives but here we go. Samuel made a nice adjustment on an underthrown ball by cam in the second quarter. Greg had over 100 yds for the first time in over 2 years. That’s about it. O Line was horrendous with Darryl Williams getting beat often. It’s hard for Cam to throw a good ball when he’s constantly pressured but some of those missed passes were inexcusable. All Cam accuracy jokes aside, a 100% physically and mentally healthy Newton makes most of those throws. Just a putrid performance by the offense and terrible play calling by Norv Turner, what were ya doing, Norv??
(lower than an F when you cant produce ONE touchdown when you make NINE red zone trips.)
For the second week in a row, the defense didn’t play great but they played well enough for the Panthers to win. Brian Burns got his first career sack and the Panthers started to generate pressure in the second half. Credit to Winston though as he didn’t get rattled and didn’t turn the ball over. Luke did a great job tallying 17 tackles (his most since his 24 against the Saints in 2013) but missed a crucial int that would eventually turn into a TD for Tampa. Just a few mental lapses by the defense but they were one of the only reasons why we even had a chance to win.
(Poor tackling and lack of effort by some of the defense brings this down.)
The other reason why the Panthers still had a chance at the end of this game: Joey “pretty Slye for a white guy.” What a game by Joey. I’ll admit that Ray-Ray McCloud had me heated after 2 muffed punts. He made up for it a little bit with a nice return after the second muffed punt but he’s got to be on the hot seat after last night. Overall, the kicking game kept us competitive by doing their job and putting points on the board.
(Ray-Ray… come on man)
Marty Hurney, Ron Rivera, and his staff are firmly on the hot seat. They were outplayed and outcoached in what should have been a must-win and now find themselves in an 0-2 hole. Next Up is The Cardinals in Arizona.