The Carolina Panthers faced off against the Detroit Lions and yet again found a new way to lose a game they should have won. It is really quite remarkable the ingenuity this team has when it comes to losing. Just when you think we have seen it all, bam, a fresh new and innovative method to lose a game.
The Carolina Panthers are the Elon Musk of losing.
Although collectively Sunday’s result is a loss, not everyone should be considered a loser. Some players deserve recognition for their valiant effort. Others, not so much. Here are this week’s winners and losers as I see it.
Cam Newton finished the game with his 18th career 300-yard passing game, going for 357 passing yards on 25-of-37 passing with three touchdowns and an interception for a 114.1 passer rating. Any team in the league would love for their quarterback to have those numbers yesterday. The Carolina Panthers and their fans are lucky to have Cam.
Rookie receiver DJ Moore had a career-high 157 receiving yards and one touchdown on seven catches. Moore’s 82-yard reception was the longest pass play for the Panthers since Ted Ginn had an 88-yard touchdown against the Raiders in Week 12 of 2016. This is the type of production we all dreamed about when he was drafted. Now only if the coaching staff will figure out he deserves more looks than Devin Funchess.
Devin Funchess had one of the worst performances from a wide receiver since the days of Brandon Lafell. Like Lafell, Funchess dropped very catchable balls throughout the game. I don’t know what was more frustrating, his drops or the fact he remained in the game.
Graham Gano missed a field goal in the third quarter, ending his league-leading and franchise-record streak at 28 straight made field goals in the regular season, dating back to Week 5 of 2017 at Detroit. Gano has been solid this season, but he was more at fault for the loss yesterday than most on the team.
The biggest loser to come out of the game yesterday is perhaps Ron Rivera. Rivera must be feeling some heat coming from his desk chair these days. Not only did his team look unprepared and impotent after a 10 day “mini-bye”, he also added obvious coaching mistakes to the losing ledger. Missing an obvious step out of bounds by the Lions that would have forced a fourth down is one. Going for it when an extra point would tie is the other. Some agree with that decision, and some are wrong.
This may be the game that sends the Carolina Panthers in a downward spiral. Or perhaps it is the rock bottom leaving them no where to go but up. We will find out in six days.Agree? Disagree? You can sound off right here with thousands of Carolina Panthers fans.