4 instant takeaways from Panthers’ Week 2 loss at the Bucs

(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) Teddy Bridgewater
(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) Teddy Bridgewater /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) Christian McCaffrey /

Third-down woes on defense

It’s not like the Carolina Panthers didn’t have opportunities to get Tampa Bay off the field. They held them well in the run game overall to provide some third-downs. But they were simply unable to get the job done thanks to bad coverage and ill-discipline.

The main culprit of this was Derrick Brown. The first-round pick was called for two penalties when Carolina was set to go to the sidelines and this is something that simply cannot happen for a rookie or an experienced veteran.

The late hit in the first quarter was so naive. Brown will learn from this and be better off for it. But that does not detract from just how much it hurt the Panthers in crucial situations.

This is a young defense who is getting a crash course in prominent starting roles in the NFL. This is bound to come with some inconsistencies and whether they can use their early struggles as a source of motivation going forward remains to be seen.

Going to the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 3 does represent a good chance to make improvements given the changes made to their offense over the spring. Everything will come together at some point during the season. But rash decision-making needs to be eradicated given the fine margins associated with having a defense that is in a clear period of transition.