The Panthers came up short against the Bears in Week 6 and fell to .500 at 3-3 in a game that left a sour taste in our mouths. It’s not that they lost the game — at least not for me, because the Bears are actually a good team — it’s how they lost the game that bothers me the most. It was just a lackluster effort on both sides of the ball from the Panthers, and you can’t play like that and expect to win many games in the NFL.
There are only three winners and three losers this week, as well as three players who don’t really fit into either category. I’m sure you can argue with all of these choices, but here they are in all their glory.
Chinn had a great game yesterday with five tackles (four solo), two passes defensed and his first career interception and he’s proving more and more every week that the Panthers made the right call to trade back into the second round to draft him. If he continues to develop he has a chance to be one of the elite defenders in the league, and I think I speak for all of us when I say that would be an acceptable result for is career.
Brian Burns is a beast. He only had three tackles yesterday (one solo), but he also had three quarterback hits. He seems to be the king of “almost getting there” this year, but if he continues to generate pressure the stats will eventually show up. Burns is a prime example that you don’t need a top-10 pick in the draft to get a great player, and knowing the Panthers can find quality players in the 15-20 range makes winning games easier to swallow if you only care about draft picks.
Anderson only had four receptions for 77 yards, but he was only targeted five times. He also made an amazing diving catch for a huge gain, which was nice to see. I’m really enjoying what the Panthers are doing with Anderson and I still can’t believe the Jets let him get away from them, but their loss is certainly our gain.
The offensive line was dreadful yesterday. Teddy Bridgewater was running for his life most of the day (and was sacked four times), and Mike Davis couldn’t find much room to run. Full credit to the Bears defense — they have an elite front seven — but the Panthers’ line didn’t do Bridgewater or Davis any favors yesterday. Russell Okung stood out with two false start penalties, but no one else across the line did much better.
I’m not going to be too hard on Teddy because a lot of his problems were due to not having much time to work, but he was not good yesterday. His first pass of the game was picked off at the 16-yard line and returned nine yards to the 7-yard line. (Not to mention that he almost took a safety on the play before that, but somehow managed to only be down inside the 1-yard line. Looking back, it would have been better if he just took the safety.)
He ended the day 16-of-29 for 216 yards, zero touchdowns and two interceptions, and he was sacked four times for a loss of 25 yards. He did scramble for 48 yards, but most of those carries were out of necessity and it seemed like every time he ran he came up short of picking up a first down. He just looked off yesterday, and a lot of that was due to the constant pressure he faced, but he had a chance to prove a lot of doubters wrong and he simply failed to do so.
Like Bridgewater, I’m not going to be too hard on Davis because the offensive line didn’t do him many favors, but he struggled to get going yesterday. He rushed for 52 yards and a touchdown, but it took him 18 carries to do so (2.9 yards per carry). He added three yards on two receptions to round out his ho-hum afternoon. Again, I don’t really blame Davis too much for his performance, because it’s hard to run when the linemen in front of you don’t give you any holes to run through.
It’s hard to call Moore a winner or a loser because he caught five passes for 93 yards, but he was targeted 11 times and had a few bad drops. There were some good moments and bad moments for him, but not enough either way to put him in a definitive section.
Brown had 1.5 tackles for loss and a quarterback hit (good) but only had three total tackles (two solo), so while it wasn’t quite enough to put him in the winners column, I wanted to give him a shout out for the positive things he did.
Boston would have been in the winners section if he could catch an interception, but since he can’t he gets to live in the honorable mentions portion of this column. He did lead the team in tackles (eight total, five solo) and had a pass defense, but it’s probably not a good thing when your free safety leads the team in tackles. It would have been much better if he caught that interception, though.
The Panthers are back to .500 and have their toughest test of the season in Week 7 when they face the Saints in New Orleans. Hopefully they pick themselves back up after this loss and have better results next week.
Who stood out to you yesterday, Panthers fans? Who were your winners and losers? Share your thoughts with us!