Initial Thoughts on the Carolina Panthers' Loss vs Atlanta

Schuyler Callihan

The Carolina Panthers lost their third straight and now fall to 3-5 after losing to the Atlanta Falcons 25-17. As always, we give you our initial thoughts of the game and what stood out from tonight's game.

Brian Burns is emerging into a star

It seems like week after week, Brian Burns continues to get better and better. He consistently finds ways to create pressure on the quarterback even if he can't quite finish off the play. There's no doubt that he has picked it up a notch or two since his rookie season a year ago as he continues to be a challenge for offensive tackles to block. 

Offensive line continues to struggle

This has been the most inconsistent group on the Panthers' offense this season and a lot of that may have to do with them having to throw in different combinations of guys because of injuries or some guys being placed on COVID/reserve. There have been several games where Teddy Bridgewater is just constantly running for his life and tonight was one of those nights. Atlanta brought pressure seemingly all night, but the offensive line had a hard time dissecting where exactly that pressure was coming from and who was picking up who. Carolina will have a hard time staying in the thick of the playoff conversation if they are unable to protect Bridgewater.  

Defense needs Rasul Douglas

Probably my biggest takeaway over the last two weeks is that the Panthers really miss starting corner Rasul Douglas. Is he a shutdown corner? No, but he makes the routine plays and plays like a veteran. This young secondary stood no chance going up against Calvin Ridley and Julio Jones and were fortunate last week to not have to face Michael Thomas or Emmanuel Sanders. Troy Pride Jr. is still a ways away from being an impact player but with Douglas being sidelined, he is being thrusted into a role that he's not quite ready for.

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