Written by Tim Booth, from the Associated Press.
Frank Reich is experienced enough to understand that his Carolina Panthers, which are in the process of rebuilding and have been affected by injuries, have little room for mistakes while playing in Seattle.
Carolina’s team had 13 penalties, lacked a successful running game, and failed to make defensive stops in the second half. This suggests that Reich’s formula for winning was not followed.
Reich stated that he does not believe anyone feels like they have been outnumbered in any of our games. He believes that we have simply been our own downfall and need to focus on improving.
On Sunday, the Panthers fell to a 0-3 record after losing 37-27 to the Seahawks. Throughout the game, they consistently hurt their progress with penalties.
Carolina received a strong performance from experienced backup Andy Dalton, who passed for 367 yards and limited Seattle to scoring field goals in the beginning. However, the Seahawks ultimately scored a touchdown and the Panthers were disappointed as they reflected on their errors in the locker room.
“It’s challenging because you can’t pinpoint it,” stated wide receiver DJ Chark Jr., who successfully caught a 47-yard touchdown. “I don’t think we’re too far off, but when the game is over and we’ve lost, it’s difficult.”
The Panthers have begun their season with three losses for the fifth time. However, they have never been able to win more than eight games in any of those particular seasons.
“I have been a part of teams that began with even worse circumstances. To be completely truthful, our main focus should be to stick together and continue pushing forward,” stated linebacker Deion Jones. “It is imperative that we all remain united and strive to improve. Each individual must take a step forward and fully commit to the team’s goals. We cannot allow anyone to stray from the group.”
Carolina was without their No. 1 overall draft pick, Bryce Young, who sustained an ankle injury in their recent defeat against New Orleans on Monday night. This is just one of the numerous injuries that have weakened an already limited team roster. Linebacker Shaq Thompson and cornerback Jaycee Horn are also currently injured.
However, despite their efforts, the Panthers trailed 22-20 when Miles Sanders scored a 1-yard touchdown on the opening play of the fourth quarter. Unfortunately, Carolina made several mistakes while Seattle added on 15 points, resulting in a widening gap between the two teams.
“As both coaches and players, it’s difficult to overcome numerous self-inflicted setbacks,” stated Reich.
The Panthers were penalized eight times for false starts, all of which were committed by offensive linemen. Ikem Ekwonu, the left tackle, was responsible for four early movements, while Taylor Morton, the right tackle, jumped twice. Chandler Zavala, the left guard, was caught once, and linebacker Chandler Wooten moved too soon during a punt.
“I was clearly let down by my performance in dealing with the noise today. Despite our preparation throughout the week, I was unable to execute when it counted,” stated Ekwonu.
With 8:15 remaining in the game and down 29-20, Carolina found themselves in a third-and-4 situation. However, the play was hindered by penalties on Morton and Zavala on back-to-back snaps, resulting in a more challenging third-and-14 and ultimately leading to a punt.
The Panthers committed the highest number of penalties in a single game since 2011.
“We need to focus on playing disciplined football, particularly before the snap. While some penalties may occur after the snap, it’s crucial for us to begin our drives with clean football. If we do end up getting beat, that’s okay, but we must improve our execution.” These were the words of Adam Thielen, who had 11 receptions for 145 yards and scored a touchdown late in the game. “We must find a solution to clean up our mistakes.”