After another loss at home, the Panthers are out of the playoff picture and it looks like Rivera may be running out of time.
The first two drives for Carolina were impressive, both ending in touchdowns to Curtis Samuel and DJ Moore. Leading 14-0, the Panthers looked like they would run away with this one, right? I mean, there’s no way they allow a team that has been one of the most dysfunctional franchises in recent memory, to climb back into the game, RIGHT?? Wrong.
“Missed Opportunities” On Offense And Defense
It was the same story different day for the Panthers as they gave up 248 yards on the ground to the Redskins (27th ranked rushing offense coming into the game) on just 30 carries. For those keeping track at home, that’s 8.3 yards a carry. Derrius Guice finished with 129 yards on 13 carries and two touchdowns, while Adrian Peterson added 99 yards on 10 carries and a score. The biggest weakness continues to be Carolina’s run defense, which is ranked as one of the worst in the league and that’s with Head Coach Ron Rivera calling plays for the defense.
The offense wasn’t much better. Outside of the first two drives in the first quarter, they mustered just 65 total yards on their next 9 possessions. Goal-to-go play calling continues to plague this team as they failed to convert four straight tries from inside the 10 to end the game. The last play was a perfect summary of how this season has gone for Carolina. Kyle Allen had a wide-open Jarius Wright on the right side of the endzone but failed to see him. Feeling the pressure from Washington pass rushers, Allen took off back towards midfield to escape. It blew up and Allen was strip-sacked for about a 30-yard loss to end the game. Missed opportunities.
What Comes Next For Carolina?
With this loss, many are wondering if Rivera makes it through the season. It’s been reported that no decision will be made on Rivera or Hurney, until after the season. When asked postgame if he was worried about his future with the team, Rivera said: “I’m not worried about my future, I’m worried about the future of this football team and we have a game coming up on Sunday.” After a 29-3 loss to Atlanta two weeks ago, owner David Tepper said he won’t accept long term mediocrity and that he had trouble sleeping the night after the loss. I can’t imagine Tepper sleeps well tonight, either.