The Panthers dropped their fourth straight game of the season after an embarrassing Week 7 performance and now sit at 3-4 after seven games. Carolina looked disjointed all day, and were completely outmatched by a team who were 1-5 and had lost their last two games by a combined total of 51 points before the game began. I’m struggling to find things to say about this team after the turd they laid yesterday, so below is one takeaway I had from yesterday’s disaster.
The Carolina Panthers are a complete and total dumpster fire
That’s it. That’s the takeaway. The Panthers are a dumpster fire. They can’t run the ball. They can’t throw the ball. They can’t catch the ball. They can’t stop the other team from running, throwing or catching the ball. They can’t convert third downs. They can’t stop the other team from converting third downs. The coaching staff can’t put together a quality game plan, and the players can’t execute the subpar game plan they’re given. Nothing’s working, and there’s not much hope for the future unless some major changes are made.
Sam Darnold is not the answer, and the Panthers are back to square one at needing to find a franchise quarterback. P.J. Walker is a decent backup, and I think it’s time to let him play to see what he can and cannot do, but he’s probably not the guy to turn the franchise around. Cam Newton’s not walking through that door, either, so the Panthers are once again in the position where they have to hope the next guy — whoever that may be — can be the one to finally put this team on his back and take us to the promised land.
Matt Rhule said last week that the Panthers were going to ‘redefine who we are’ on offense and take the ball out of Darnold’s hands and put more responsibility on the running game to help Darnold protect the ball. The Panthers had 17 carries for 56 yards yesterday against the Giants. Darnold was 16-of-25 for 111 yards, 0 touchdowns and 1 interception, and Walker was 3-of-14 for 33 yards, 0 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. So much for redefining who we are, eh? That looks exactly like the same Panthers team we’ve seen over the previous three weeks: Unable to do anything on offense when Christian McCaffrey is on the sideline and Sam Darnold is trusted to take the reins.
I will give Rhule a little bit of slack here: It’s hard to run the football when your quarterback can’t throw — and when he does make a decent throw his receivers can’t catch it — and the defense knows you have to rely on your run game to move the ball down the field. The Giants were able to focus on the run, which put more pressure on Darnold, and the offense went straight into the toilet as a result.
It’s also hard to move the football consistently when your offensive line is made out of masking tape and rubber bands. The Panthers haven’t had a good offensive line since 2015, and despite all the chaos that has surrounded this franchise since Super Bowl 50 the one constant has been the offensive line being a complete and utter disappointment. Hell, yesterday Darnold was sacked by his own guy. This is how far we’ve fallen, y’all. Welcome to hell.
The defense can’t stop the other team because they’re averaging 873 snaps per game* and it’s frankly impossible to ask any NFL defense to stop even a below average NFL offense when they are on the field for almost 75 percent of the game. Even the bad offenses can put drives together when the opposing defense is sucking wind after every play, and thanks to the Panthers’ offense playing the ‘let’s see how many times we can go three-and-out in a row’ game, the Panthers’ defense doesn’t stand much of a chance at stopping their opposition.
Have I mentioned that the Giants were 1-5 before yesterday, and that their previous two losses were by a combined 51 points? Have I mentioned that they were missing four of their best players on offense? Actually, I don’t think I’ve mentioned that one yet.
The Giants were playing yesterday without Saquon Barkley, Kenny Golladay, Kadarius Toney and Sterling Shepard.
Read that again. We lost to a 1-5 team that was missing most of their first team offense, and we didn’t just lose: We lost by 22 points. We gave up 25 unanswered points to a team who had only scored at least 25 points once over their last six games. Every time I believe the Panthers can’t do anything to disappoint me, they somehow find a way. Being unhappy with this team is inevitable, and if you’re looking for answers to how you can get over watching this team shit their pants every Sunday, I don’t know what to tell you other than to find something else to spend your time on every week. The Panthers have a chance to turn things around with several winnable games over the next few weeks, but they also have a chance to burn the whole thing down if they continue to play down to their opponents’ level. (And we’ve been around long enough to know what’s probably going to happen.)
I really don’t know what else to say about this trash pile of a team. We play the Falcons next week in Atlanta, so we already know how that’s gonna go. Hopefully the Panthers will find a way to prove me wrong, but I’m not getting my hopes up.
What stood out this week to you, Panthers fans? Share your thoughts with us!
*- This may be a slight exaggeration.