Carolina Panthers

What is the Carolina Panthers biggest problem? I’ll tell you.

carolina panthers

The internet is filled with talk today surrounding the Carolina Panthers, their 1-2 record, and the various issues that have contributed to it. From offensive line play to the numerous sloppy penalties, Panthers fans are starting to point fingers. While I am not ready to throw in the towel, there is one glaring problem I see that will keep the Carolina Panthers from winning in the playoffs, should they find themselves there in January.

The most troubling problem currently for the Carolina Panthers is this: In two games against good defenses, the Panthers have mustered only 3 points total in the second half.

Four quarters, three points. That ain’t good.

In Denver, the Panthers came out looking like a team that was hungry for revenge. They scored 17 points in the first half as they headed into the locker room, happy with their performance. After halftime, however, the Panthers offense was systematically shut down by the Denver defense. The result? A single field goal in the second half.

Then there was yesterday. Once again during the first portion of the game, the Panthers offense looked capable and efficient. Then, as the game went on, the Vikings defense systematically took away everything the Panthers were doing.

carolina panthers cam newton

Cam Newton touched on this during his press conference after the game.

“They were dictating to us, after they got the momentum, rather than the opposite from what we were doing at the start of the game.” Newton said. “We were running the football extremely well, keeping them off balance, and then all of a sudden, after the safety is was good riddance.”

What Cam Newton is expressing here is what Carolina Panthers fans saw first hand on Sunday. Once the Minnesota Vikings defense got a feel for what the Panthers wanted to do, they took it away. Newton could have also been describing the loss to the Broncos, because the exact same thing happened in Denver.

Four Quarters, three points.

It is the  goal of any good defensive coordinator to take away what the offense is trying to do. The Panthers have faced two good defensive coordinators this year, Wade Phillips and George Edwards. Both were able to accomplish that goal.

It is then the goal of any good offensive coordinator to counter their adjustments with offensive adjustments of his own. In both cases, Panthers offensive coordinator Mike Shula failed. Nothing else so clearly and simply explains the discrepancy in scoring between the first and second halves of the Panthers two losses. Once the game plan of the Panthers offense is disrupted, they are unable to adapt and change. The blame for that falls squarely on the offensive coordinator. If the Carolina Panthers have any chance of making a run in the playoffs this year, Shula must improve his ability to counter the defensive adjustments he faces.

Four quarters, three points.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Craig Pruitt

    September 26, 2016 at 9:33 am

    Great Article. I posted something similar to your assessment after the Denver game. Shula doesn’t seem to have the ability to make adjustments after/when the opposing defense begins to counteract his initial game plan. When teams began to tee off on Cam with a heavy pass rush we never see him alter play calls to slow down them down. He really needs to incorporate a short passing game into the offense. Too many of our passing routes take too long to develop.

  2. Mike

    September 26, 2016 at 11:00 am

    +1 to the article and to Craig’s comment. If the fans notice the issue, why can’t the coaching staff? Pathetic.

  3. Michael Jordan

    September 27, 2016 at 7:58 am

    I’ve been saying Shula is the biggest part of the problem for a few years now! A weak O-line does not help, but I cannot count how many games in the past 4 years that I’ve been like, “WTF was that play?!?! Let me guess, this play is going to be ANOTHER run straight up the middle.” And then boom, the play ran is what I thought it’d be. Mike Shula is like a hibachi chicken restaurant, there is not a lot of versatility to it/him…. Yeah, hibachi chicken is good the first few times, but after the 4th time in a row, your like, ” hmmmm, I know EXACTLY what that first bite is going to taste like and I betcha I know what the entire meal is going to taste like and how much I’ll be able to eat…” PREDICTABLE. Mike Shula only gets some credit because he has some of the best offensive players on his team to support/prop up his pathetic play calling ability. I think Ron Rivera felt the Mike Shula problem is kind of like the O-line problem…. Ignore it long enough and ehhh, it’ll work itself out… NO, IT WON’T Rivera. Grow a set of balls and fix the O-line and do something about Mike Shula… PLEASE. Just freaking bring in a PS4 with Madden NFL17 playing on it and run the suggested plays it calls for and you’ll do AT LEAST just as good as Mike Shula would do and I bet you’d DO better having Madden NFL17 calling the plays rather than Shula! It’d be A LOT cheaper that way and maybe then you could find a Remmers replacement instead of having to constantly defend having him on the O-line…..HMMM. Get rid of the TWO MIKES! MIKE Shula AND MIKE Remmers. Please fix it before Cam Newton gets destroyed and can no longer function at his best abilities. Ron Rivera is regressing back to what he was his first year or two as a coach… Remember him then?? HE WAS AWFUL! Like a scared cat afraid to do anything because he was sooo set on a defensive mindset. I think the coaches let the “fame” received from last year’s 15-1 season go to their heads more than the players did…… THAT’S THE PROBLEM!! THE COACHING HAS GOTTEN WORSE!!!!!!!

  4. Rinzler

    September 27, 2016 at 11:52 pm

    This is the problem with going 15-1, now everyone expects a repeat performance. It’s week 3 and two their losses are to the defending Superbowl Championships on the road by a missed FG and played a division champion while the city is burning.. Also the Vikings could just as easily be 1-2 that’s the nature of the league. They have 13 more weeks to do what they need to do to get better. This isn’t college football where a team needs a gaudy record to appease some voter to be allowed to play in the playoffs, if the Panthers finish 9-7 and make the playoffs so be it, as the Giants won the Super Bowl with a 9-7 record IMO the only thing that matters is qualifying and then you take it one game at a time.

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