The sound you hear is the air being let out of the preseason hype balloon for the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers took on the Buffalo Bills and came out with a butt whooping the likes of which have not been seen since, well, last season. But are things as bad as they seem? Probably not. Let us delve into the game grades.
The Carolina Panthers offense had exactly one bright spot, and his name is Jordan Scarlett. This rookie running back out of Florida showed why he is not only a lock to make the final roster, but could contribute immediately in a role backing up Christian McCaffrey. Scarlett ran into some off the field issues which is mainly why he dropped in the draft. However, if he can show that he has matured he should have a career in the NFL.
The rest of the offense? Terrible. I would love to tell you this is just a preseason anomaly. Unfortunately, we have seen these types of games routinely under Ron Rivera. Games where the players look completely unprepared and uninterested. So let me say this, maybe the Carolina Panthers got this inevitable bag of poo out of the way in the preseason? Let’s light it on fire and hope so.
Offensive Grade: D
Apparently the TV crew made mention of Eric Washington making the defensive play calls once again for the Carolina Panthers. If this is a preseason occurrence only I have no problem with that. However, part of the assurances we as fans had this offseason is that Ron Rivera would be taking over play calling duties. Let’s hope they keep that promise.
The Panthers’ defense didn’t look too terrible early in the game with some of the starting defensive line unit rotating in and out. But when the backups took over, particularly the linebackers, the middle of the field was wide open all night long as the Panthers players were lost in coverage. Again, these are backup players and I cannot see the same happening with Kuechly and Thompson. But I have to grade the game that was played, and it ain’t great.
Defensive Grade: C
Carolina Panthers backup kicker Slye hit a 54 yarder. Everyone is scared to death to mention any type of kicker controversy and I am not sure why. There will be teams fighting over signing Slye very shortly. He at least needs to be in the Carolina Panthers roster conversation.
The Panthers gave up a 37 yard punt return to the Bills, which probably isn’t good news. The special teams unit had looked pretty decent up until that point.
Special Teams Grade – C+