The word ‘sloppy’ is being thrown around a lot to describe the Carolina Panthers Week 1 loss to the Los Angeles Rams. To me, that implies a carelessness that I didn’t see on the field. Mistakes were made, to be sure, but they looked more like offseason rust than an inattention to the game.
My takeaway was that a team that can hang with the one of the best teams in the NFC even after making as many mistakes as the Panthers did could easily be one of those best teams in the NFC, themselves.
The Panthers also have limited time this week to prepare for their next opponent and repair what didn’t work against the Rams. The first two weeks of the 2019 NFL season will carry a heavy asterisk over any snap judgments made about where the Panthers fit in their conference.
With that in mind I asked the Cat Scratch Reader staff to answers two questions this week:
- Which mistake from Week 1 do you expect to see again on Thursday night?
- Do the Panthers have to dominate the Bucs to inspire confidence in their season?
Bradley Smith, Managing Editor:
- The timeout/delay of game penalty combo will come back up.
- For me, no... just avoid a nail-biter and win by 7-10 points.
Jason Hewitt, Contributor:
- I expect to see more issues with ball security.
- Yes, a blowout would be great for their morale.
Evan Leekley, Contributor:
- I expect to see at least two timeouts used to save delay-of-game penalties again Thursday. (And in perpetuity.)
- With it being a Thursday game, no. Just win, baby. But a 17-point win and some confidence would be nice.
Brian Beversluis, Social Media Manager:
- I expect the passing offense to still be off key, as they are getting limited preparation and coming off a bad game.
- I don’t think they have to, but I think if they do it’ll give them some momentum to kick off the first half of the season.
Jake Wexler, Contributor:
- I’m certain we will see another horrible delay of game/timeout debacle because they’ve been a recurring theme under the Rivera regime.
- Do the Panthers have to dominate the Bucs to inspire confidence in their season?They don’t need to dominate across the board, but they need to play well enough on national TV to make a statement.
Andrew Sweat, Contributor:
- Limiting Cam Newton as a runner.
- Yes. If the Panthers can’t dominate Jameis Winston’s offense then they’re just average.
Erik Sommers, Lead Voice:
- The Panthers are going to continue giving up yardage on the ground, though not as significantly as against LA.
- Yes, they need to dismantle Tampa Bay to ignite their confidence levels, especially under the lights at home.
Daniel Belton, Contributor:
- Ron still won’t blitz much, definitely not enough for me.
- No, a solid divisional win on a short week is fine.
Jonathan DeLong, Editor:
- The issues containing the run game will still be present. It was a problem last year, and now they’re trying to make it work with a new defense.
- I don’t think the Panthers need to dominate the Bucs, but they do need to win rather comfortably.