It would seem the Carolina Panthers season is all but over after the 40-7 pummeling they took from the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday at CenturyLink Field. After Cam Newton was benched for the first series due to a dress code violation which ended up being his forgetfulness to wear a tie on the team plane, and was the first time in 6 years Newton didn’t start because of non injury related issues. Some games in the NFL are given a poor reflection from team statistics, however this game was not one of them. Here are two interesting takeaways from Carolina’s loss in Seattle.
1) The running game needs to be fixed.
There are only so many times one can use the excuse of injures within the offensive line to cause disruption in a historically highly effective rising attack led by Jonathan Steward. However, the coaches and players as well have had plenty of time to adjust and enter the mindset of “next man up” as is required often in football. So far this season, Stewart has yet to rush for over 100 yards in a game, and has even failed to reach the 50+ yard mark in 4 of the last 6 games.
Power Rankings: Who are the pretenders and who are the contenders?
QB Rankings:: Familiar faces on top
Mailbag:: Is Cousins the real deal?
2) The passing game…also needs some work.
Panther fans were extremely excited coming into the season knowing that star wide Receiver Kelvin Benjamin was returning after a much better passing season than anyone would have guessed would arise from Cam Newton in 2015. The past 7 games, Newton has thrown a touchdown in all but one, the only discrepancy being the low volume of passing yards, indicating the inability to compete long passes and spread the defense throughout the field. Benjamin himself hasn’t quite lived up to the high expectations that came along with his return this season, as he’s only caught one touchdown pass in the past 8 weeks. Certainly not the numbers you want from two of your most important offensive weapons.