Panthers’ Offense Continues to Sputter in Key Spots

Chris KroegerNews, Week 85 Comments

141026 Panthers v Seahawks_0219

141026 Panthers v Seahawks_0219

Through their first seven games, the Panthers’ offense struggled on third down and in the red zone. 

Against the Seahawks, both issues factored into Carolina’s fourth loss in six weeks.

Carolina came in ranked 14th in the NFL on third down, converting 42 percent of their tries. Their red zone efficiency was even worse. They turned red zone trips into touchdowns just 52 percent of the time, which tied them for 23rd.

Sunday, they converted a season-low two third-down conversions on 10 attempts. The 20 percent conversion rate was also their worst of the year.

Excluding Graham Gano’s two field goals, the Panthers ran a dozen plays in the red zone during the first half. They gained just 11 yards on those 12 plays, which featured only three passes. The results of three trips inside the red zone: Field goal, field goal, Cam Newton fumble.

“When you get inside the five, you have to scratch, crawl, spit, grip, find a way,” Newton said. “We know that, it just has to settle in where we’re in the heat of the battle. We didn’t do a good job of that, and it’s happened a lot since I’ve been here.”

He’s right, and the continuing problem needs to be fixed.

“As an offense we have to take a little credit for what part we played in it,” tight end Ed Dickson said. “We need to score more touchdowns instead of those field goals.”

That’s apparently easier said than done. It didn’t help that the Panthers didn’t get into the red zone at all in the second half. Over the final two quarters, they ran only 13 plays in Seahawks’ territory. That’s a big drop-off from the 16 plays they had on Seattle’s side in the first quarter and the 25 they totaled in the first half.

With the high-powered Saints’ offense on-tap, more failed third-down conversions and field goals instead of touchdowns could again spell doom for the Panthers come Thursday night.

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  • bauerdavidson

    Shula is too conservative. Until the end when we are behind and everyone knows we have to throw it. The line isnt good enough, it is getting better, to play ball control offense. Cam has the ability and the recivers haven disappointed this year, he needs to trust them more. I dont know why they continue to hope the run will doninate. And a short screen on fouth and a mile wtf.

  • MarkACarpenter

    Kroeger can you please rip aspartame Mike Shula tomorrow please. There may be a revolt in Charlotte soon. #Panthers

  • MarkACarpenter

    Kroeger can you please rip Mike Shula tomorrow? There might be a revolt in Charlotte soon. #Panthers

  • Freckle_brown

    BlackBlueReview Kroeger key spots = on the football field.

  • AnthonyFKelly

    I have 2 things to bitch about
    1. We must find line help for Cam he can’t stay under pressure as he did yesterday. Their D was in our back field as much as Cam was he didn’t have time to do anything.
    2. If your going to the game stay for the game and don’t leave after the first quarter. I bought my PSL up in the 500 section for that reason to be with football fans. It was so sad to see the crowd leaving as soon as the Hawks got the ball with 4 min left in the game. SHAME on you !