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Panthers embarrassed on Monday Night Football, lose 45-21

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Just when you think it can't get any worse.

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Panthers set a new bar for ineptitude on Monday Night Football, losing to the Eagles 45-21 in a game that looks far closer on paper than it ever was.

Cam Newton was sacked nine times in the loss, and played the entire game on shaky footing and clearly in pain. It's unclear why the coaching staff chose to keep him out there, but the Panthers QB responded with one of the worst games of his career -- at least until garbage time kicked in.

DeAngelo Williams started the game with a fumble inside the Panthers 30-yard line, which quickly became a bellwether for the game as a whole. Numerous turnovers, poor defensive play and a lack of creativity on both sides of the ball allowed the offense to look as bad as it ever has, contributing to arguably one of the worst games of the last four years.

Every single member of the offensive line outside of Ryan Kalil each contributed to the loss, with the tackle position once again becoming a huge problem. Here are the three things we learned on Monday night:

1. Cam Newton needs a break

Not benching Newton in the second half was beyond comprehension. There was a very real possibility the Panthers QB could have been seriously injured for no good reason, and it's unclear why Ron Rivera allowed his passer to keep getting pummeled when the game was completely out of hand.

Newton lost faith in the offensive players around him, and didn't have the quickness needed to escape the Eagles aggressive 3-4 defense. Everything that could go wrong, did.

2. Dave Gettleman's offseason is worse than we ever imagined

The Roman Harper and Thomas DeCoud show was in full effect on Monday night, with each of the veteran signees one-upping each other in pointlessness. DeCoud cheered himself and flexed after making a single good tackle in the second quarter, then proceeded to allow three straight deep completions and a touchdown.

That was his addition to the evening. Harper wasn't much better.

3.  Things need to change

This isn't calling for heads to roll, but if there isn't a serious improvement or shakeup at the bye week then the Panthers are accepting mediocrity. They're in this mess because the team misallocated draft picks and funds; electing to field a quarter of a competent team.

It's not necessarily the coaching staff's fault, but good coaches can help mitigate problems. None of these are being avoided and the Panthers are getting worse.