The Panthers came into MetLife Stadium hoping to get their first win of the season after a huge let down in their home opener against the Browns. Well, it didn’t happen. So let’s dive into the game and see what went wrong.
The Defense Stopped Barkley
While the defense greatly struggled against the running back attack from Cleveland, there was significant improvement this weekend against the Giants. For most of the game Barkley was not even a factor. He was held to under 100 yards on the game and he only averaged 3.4 yards per carry. It wasn’t until near the end of the game where Barkley started to string together some runs that would deflate the hopes for the Panthers. As far as the passing game goes, it was not a strong day for Daniel Jones. He made some decent throws but also had some sketchy ones. The pass rush, whether through the defensive line or through an array of blitzes, did a good job of speeding up Jones’ internal clock. He was sacked three times and didn’t throw any interceptions (although there were several that were dropped). The defense really kept the Panthers in the game after a rough start to the game but ran out of gas towards the end.
The Best Player for the Offense Is Still CMC
Once again the offense for the Panthers failed to string anything together on a consistent basis. Baker Mayfield looked absolutely terrible. There were moments where he didn’t have much time to throw. But even when he did have time, his throws showed a complete lack of confidence. He often overthrew, underthrew, and threw balls into tightly contested spaces. He did have one touchdown throw in the 3rd quarter to DJ Moore, but that was mainly due to the cornerback falling down. Any sort of contested throw was a disaster for him. The quarterback woes continue and show no sign of letting up. Christian McCaffrey had a strong game after a weak performance last week. He rushed for over 100 yards and looked strong throughout the game. The offensive line struggled to consistently protect Baker, even with two of New York’s main rushers injured going into this week. They did do a good job of opening running lanes for McCaffrey.
Outlook for Next Week
Next week the Panthers will return to the friendly confines of Bank of America Stadium to take on the New Orleans Saints. The main challenge going into this game is you don’t know what version of Jameis Winston you are going to get. During week one, he threw three touchdowns in the fourth quarter. In week two, he threw two interceptions and handed the game over to the Buccaneers. The Panthers have not done well with capitalizing on opportunities that the other team hands them. That will be a crucial part of next week’s game.
- Take advantage of turnover opportunities when on defense
- Baker needs to be consistent in passing and get a confidence boost
- Offensive line needs to work together better and give Baker time to throw
- Keep CMC rolling…the offense has success when he gets hot
By the way…Matt Rhule should be fired.
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