Make red zone opportunities count
Things were harder than they perhaps should have been at the Chargers on Sunday. The Carolina Panthers moved the ball down the field well, but they were forced to settle for five field goals after coming up short in the red zone.
They did manage to cross the plain once when Mike Davis scored their only touchdown of the game on a perfect screen that was executed superbly. More will be needed against the Cardinals given their ability to put up points seemingly at will, so when the Panthers get into the opposition’s 20-yard line, they need to be more ruthless.
Offensive coordinator Joe Brady needs to do a better job of putting his weapons in the right sort of position to succeed. There is little daunting the credentials of the playmakers at his disposal, so coming up with the best possible plays to make a difference will be down to him.
Make no mistake, this is a winnable game for the Panthers. The Cardinals might be a postseason contender, especially with the injuries piling up on the San Francisco 49ers, but Carolina showed enough last weekend to be competitive in this one.
Much will come down to how clinical Teddy Bridgewater and others are at making the most out of the opportunities that come their way. If the Panthers can avoid reliance on kicker Joey Slye, then they have a tremendous chance.