How does a team lose only two games out of 19 then follow it up the next season with two losses in their first three? This is the main question on everyone’s mind concerning the Carolina Panthers.
The Panthers are coming off a humiliating defeat against the Minnesota Vikings Sunday afternoon in a game that was a must-win for them. I can say embarrassing loss due to the Panthers going against a team that lost their starting QB before the season started and the best RB in the NFL last week. How were they supposed to beat the reigning NFC champs at home?
These are not the same Panthers from 2015. I have no idea who they are, or are they are the team they are supposed to be and last season was the team nobody knew? Here’s why I say that. In 2014, the Panthers went 7-8-1, won their division and lost their first-round playoff game. The following year, everything that could go right for them did. But this season, something is missing. But what could it be?
The offense is the same. The same players that led the NFL in scoring with 30 points per game are still intact, but yet they are struggling to get the ball in the end zone. The Vikings defense is nothing to scoff at but how do you forget how to be a dominating team in a matter of months? The Panthers thought they cured their woes last week against the 49ers, but that was against the 49ers. Against the Vikings the team was exposed again, but this time, it was different from the Broncos game.
The Panthers still have the MVP, Cam Newton but he has looked out-of-place. The running game has produced but the loss of Jonathan Stewart will have an effect even if Whittaker and Artis-Payne play above their pay grade. The defense has not been the issue as many thought it would with the loss of Josh Norman. It’s just maybe, maybe we were all fooled last season and now we are seeing the real Panthers.
Cinderella wasn’t ugly before the glass slipper, she was just normal. Maybe the Panthers left their slipper in Santa Clara. It’s safe to say the Panthers are flirting with “fluke” status now and if they are not careful, it could get a lot worse before it gets better.