CHARLOTTE, N.C. — CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Disappointed. Frustrated. Embarrassed.
Coaches and players are utilizing those words to characterize the season of the Carolina Panthers.
Supporters are becoming increasingly frustrated.
A fan podcast in North and South Carolina is advocating for a “March on Mint” this Sunday, calling for changes within the organization after the team’s disappointing 1-8 record and lackluster display in a 16-13 defeat to the Chicago Bears on Thursday night.
This year is not the only factor.
The Panthers are now 30-61 since David Tepper, the NFL’s second-wealthiest owner, purchased the franchise in 2018. Carolina has not been to the playoffs since 2017, and the aura surrounding the organization is a mixture of anger and apathy.
Frank Reich, the head coach of the Panthers, stated on Monday that he has no plans to make any alterations to his team. However, he did mention the possibility of resuming his role of calling offensive plays, which he had previously entrusted to Thomas Brown three weeks ago. The Panthers have only managed to score two touchdowns in their last three games under Brown’s direction.
It is time for a change.
The situation in Carolina is currently quite difficult, especially for the offense.
Carolina obtained the top spot in the NFL draft by trading, selecting Bryce Young. However, their performance in total offense (ranked 28th) and scoring (ranked 27th) reflects a lack of progress. In fact, the team has been declining in the past two weeks with no clear solutions in sight.
Young has a record of 1-7 when starting, and in six of his eight starts, the Panthers have scored 17 points or fewer.
Young expressed that the team as a whole is feeling frustrated with their current situation. They are not living up to their potential and they know they can do better. The way they perform on the field and in games is a reflection of who they are, and they need to improve. This applies to everyone, including himself, as he knows he needs to step up and lead by example.
It’s not solely Young’s responsibility.
He needs help.
The inexperienced player requires assistance from his coaches, who have let him down with unoriginal strategies that frequently force him to retreat without any backup options. He also needs support from the offensive line, which struggles to defend him. His wide receivers, aside from Adam Thielen, consistently struggle to create space. Additionally, he relies on a running game that has been almost non-existent.
However, the major assistance that is required is from general manager Scott Fitterer. His position may be at risk due to his failure to assemble the necessary components for the team’s star quarterback.
Despite being plagued by injuries and missing key players such as Brian Burns, Shaq Thompson, Jaycee Horn, and C.J. Henderson, the defense of Carolina put up a strong performance against the Bears. They were able to keep the Bears from scoring until the third quarter, when former Panthers player D’Onta Foreman scored a 4-yard run. The defense also limited the Bears to less than 300 yards. However, it should be acknowledged that this was achieved against a Bears team that was also missing their starting quarterback Justin Fields and running back Khalil Herbert.
WHAT NEEDS HELP
The Bears were able to sack the Carolina QB three times, causing concern for Reich who deemed it “excessive”. The team has now allowed a total of 32 sacks this season, placing them third in the league for most allowed. Despite their success in run blocking last year, the offensive line is struggling with protecting against pass plays.
Ihmir Smith-Marsette, the punt returner, delivered the sole standout moment in the game against the Bears with his 79-yard punt return for a touchdown. This marked his first ever punt return touchdown in his career.
STOCK (WAY) DOWN
Miles Sanders signed the biggest contract of any running back on the free agent market this past summer when he got a four-year, $25.4 million deal. The Panthers are getting absolutely no return on their investment. Sanders is a complete non-factor in the offense and had two carries for minus-5 yards against the Bears.
The Panthers exited the match unscathed, with no new injuries. They are anticipating the return of Burns and Henderson, who were sidelined due to concussions, for their upcoming game against Dallas. There is a chance that Horn, who has been recovering from a hamstring injury since Week 1, may also make his comeback.
The Panthers rushed for 43 yards against the Bears.
The Panthers will have additional time to get ready for their match against Dallas on November 19. According to the schedule, it will be played at the home stadium for Carolina. However, due to the lack of enthusiasm and strong discontent among fans, it is likely that PSL owners will start selling their tickets to Cowboys supporters. By the start of the game, it is possible that the crowd will be 80% in favor of the Cowboys at Bank of America Stadium.
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