Publish date:

The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly - Week 5

An assessment from Week 5

Week 5 is a week to forget, but before we do that, let's learn from what went wrong. People tend to learn more from mistakes than accomplishments, so what did we learn? Let's dig a little further...

The Good - Carolina has had the lead in every game this season and recently, things started to unravel in the third quarter. Carolina might be looking at a 4-1 record if they scooped up that botched snap in the end zone rather than getting a safety. Or, if Sam Darnold and Robby Anderson connected on that third-down with four minutes remaining. A first down there and they have three more plays to kill the clock and give Philadelphia less of a chance to score. It also would've negated the punt that was blocked. Would've, could've, should've. What's the old saying? Missed Opportunities. The Panthers have been there, done that too many times before but it continues to rear its ugly head. 

The Bad - The Panthers' offensive line was manhandled by Philadelphia. Sam Darnold was constantly pressured, hurried, and sacked, and it led to three interceptions that helped decide the game. Looking back at the film, Darnold had open options in his progressions that he failed to recognize, on those turnover plays, but others as well. In his defense, he barely had a second or two before he was met with an onslaught of the Eagles defense in his face. We won't see many deep shots because those routes take time to develop and quite frankly, the offensive line may not be able to provide the protection for those plays to develop. 

The Ugly - It is becoming more and more tiring watching this team get out to a lead only to give it up later in the game. This team needs to learn how to close out games and much of the blame lies on the coaching staff. Some of the play calling is becoming more predictable and defenses are keying in on what might be coming next. Getting Christian McCaffrey back helps everyone, especially Darnold. With McCaffrey running routes, defenses are more confused and unsure about where the ball might be going. His presence makes the offense run smoother and recently, the offense has struggled to convert when needed. 

Looking ahead to Week 6 against Minnesota, Carolina is reminded of another disastrous ending that occurred last season against the Vikings. Poor time management in the last four minutes and inability to convert when needed led to a fourth-quarter loss that shouldn't have happened. Like many games last season, McCaffrey was not in the lineup for that matchup. Perhaps his return in Week 6 will light a fire under the team as they try to re-establish the dominant form they showed in the first three weeks of the season.