Another week, another loss, and another outstanding game for Newton.
Unfortunately, the Panthers couldn’t walk away from Soldier Field 2-2, but we learned quite a few things. The offense looked solid, and Newton again made Steve Smith a happy man. The run defense is absolutely and unmistakably terrible. To let the Bears run for 240 yards against you is a joke. So now that the game is over, check back after the break as I analyze the Panthers’ 3rd loss of the year.
What I Liked
Cam Newton can take this team places. We’ve said that numerous times here at CatCrave, but now it is official. Cam effectively picked about Chicago’s self-proclaimed amazing defense by throwing for 374 yards. To aid Newton we saw the re-emergence Double Trouble. D-Will and The Daily Show ran for a collective 134 yards on the ground and added 33 receiving yards. Chudzinski’s decision to include more rushing attempts proved effective early in the game. Hopefully the Panthers can keep the trend alive and Double Trouble will be out full force.
What I Didn’t Like
If Carolina has a run defense, I didn’t see it. Forte effectively ran the ball all day long, and for the second year in a row set his career high rushing stats against Carolina. The Panthers have absolutely 0 chance of being a productive team if the run defense doesn’t step it up. Defense wins games, which is why I have yet to place a losses blame on Newton.
What it Means
Rivera and Olsen were on a mission today, and while they didn’t succeed on the board, they succeeded in growing as an offense. Newton is picking up on the game fast, and is the obvious pick for a franchise QB. Carolina will see more wins against better teams if they can get a grip on defense.
Another Day Another Sack
That’s right, Charles Johnson now has a sack in each of the 4 games this season. A while back I gave the resigning of Johnson a grade in the area of a C- or a D. I would like to personally thank Johnson for proving me wrong
Secondary Step Up
With Gamble out, all thought that the Bears would kill the Panthers in the air. Cutler had barely 50% completed for only 105 yards. IT was a good step for the Panthers’ secondary in growing as a group.
Just Not Cutting It
Another disappointing game for Naanee. He was targeted a team high 11 times, and only came down with 4 of those. 1-2 of those passes were overthrown, but he still dropped a few. Lafell is stepping up, catching 4-6 for 42 yards.
Next the Panthers look to defend their house when the NFC South division rivals New Orleans Saints come to town. Look for the Panthers to utilize the run against the Saints decent-at-best run defense.