In what ended up being an exciting game, the Carolina Panthers fell to the Green Bay Packers. All hope is not lost, but whoa buddy there are some issues to talk about. On with the grades.
DJ Moore had his second consecutive 100+ yard receiving game. I wonder if it is just coincidence both games came just after receiving harsh criticism from Carolina Panthers great Steve Smith. Probably not.
Kyle Allen is a duality at quarterback, costly mistakes mixed with inspiring play. This is not necessarily a bad thing for a young quarterback. Thus far, Allen has shown his ceiling can be very high if he can now cut down on the mistakes. His 4th quarter performance was one of the best quarters of football by a Panthers in recent memory.
Sadly, the performance was still not good enough to win, which is the entire point.
Offensive Grade – C
For my money, the Carolina Panthers defense is the biggest issue on the team as they face a possible post season. You can get by in the NFL Playoffs with an offense that isn’t perfect. But when your defense gives up big gains on the ground consistently, you just have no chance to win.
Luke Kuechly looked less than stellar yesterday. In the past this was caused by Kuechly trying to do too much and covering for the bad play of others. Is Kuechly’s game really falling off or is it a symptom of a defensive system that just isn’t being executed properly? I will wait for Ron Rivera’s comments on the subject before judging.
By far, the biggest concern in Carolina today is the defense, and the grade should reflect that.
Defensive Grade – D
I base most coaching grades for Ron Rivera on how the defense performs. After all, the entire reason he was hired was to bring a hard hitting dominating defense to Carolina. What we witnessed yesterday was nothing of the sort.
What we saw yesterday was what we have grown all too accustomed to seeing under the Rivera regime. A defensive squad that looks good on paper, but continues to be undisciplined and largely unprepared. I can forgive being out coached by an excellent offensive scheme or performance. But being beat by your own poor tackling and effort is a tough pill to swallow.
Bad fundamentals is bad coaching. No other way around it.
Coaching Grade – D