Heartbreak strikes the Carolina Panthers again.
Unfortunately, the Panthers traveled to New York and the result was the same as the previous eight times that Carolina has stepped on the football field in a meaningful game. A loss.
There really isn't much to say about this game that the play on the field didn't already show.
Two early turnovers by Chuba Hubbard and Robbie Anderson were foretelling of how the afternoon was going to pan out. Baker Mayfield never got into a rhythm and his final stats (14/29, 145 yards, one touchdown) showed it. Part of his inability to grow into the game was the fact that his weapons failed him multiple times. Shi Smith dropped a pair of passes in the game, both of them coming in crucial situations.
For most of the afternoon, the revamped Panthers' offensive line gave Baker enough time, but his protection deteriorated down the stretch. Mayfield was running for his life in the fourth quarter and rarely had enough time to find one of his receivers.
The first half was the problem last week, but the Panthers' offense fell apart in the second half today. Here are the drives after the touchdown to take the lead early in the third quarter.
5 plays, 15 yards, punt
3 plays, 8 yards, punt
3 plays, 0 yards, punt
5 plays, 55 yards, field goal
4 plays, 12 yards, punt, and Carolina never saw the ball again.
I'll discuss the defense more tomorrow in "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly," but they were mostly solid today. They kept the team in the game in the first half forcing the Giants' offense to two field goals after the Panthers' fumbles. Daniel Jones was under consistent pressure, and credit to him, he made a few big plays to ice the game down the stretch.
Frankie Luvu played like a man possessed today. He was in the backfield more times than I could count, and he was the game-changer at linebacker that Phil Snow dreamed he could be. Brian Burns also had a big game coming home with a pair of sacks to his name after not getting home at all against Cleveland.
However, for all the good, the Panthers were unable to force a turnover against statistically one of the most turnover-prone quarterbacks in league history. According to StatMuse, Daniel Jones has turned the ball over 51 times in his career, good for the fourth most in the league - one behind Baker Mayfield, four ahead of Sam Darnold, both of whom Panthers fans are familiar with.
Something has to change in Carolina. Nine straight losses, uninspiring offense, constant churning at the quarterback position, it's all bad. Everything about Panther football is hard to watch right now. At what point does David Tepper lose patience with the current regime and make a change? After another disappointing performance, it's beginning to feel like it may be coming sooner rather than later.