4 big Panthers disappointments in Week 8 loss vs. the Falcons

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Matt Rhule
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Matt Rhule /
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Carolina Panthers
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Game management

One of the key components to winning any football game is controlling the clock. The Carolina Panthers were clearly disappointing in this regard and this hurt them, especially on offense.

Whether Teddy Bridgewater was getting too cute on the line of scrimmage or not is debatable. He was using up plenty of the play clock on almost every down, which didn’t make things as fluid as they have been at stages of the season.

This had a lot to do with the disguised coverages from Atlanta’s perspective, which were executed to perfection. But the communication between Bridgewater and center Matt Paradis, in particular, left a lot to be desired.

Having difficulty managing games on the offensive side of the ball put additional pressure on a defense who were up against it from the first drive after Julio Jones managed 52 receiving yards from the first two plays. They are clearly just relying on rotational players, at best. But whether too much damage will have been done by the time they’re at full-strength remains to be seen.

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The Falcons got the hard yards when it mattered most, which played a critical role in their second triumph of the season. They had the ball for 36:30 compared to Carolina’s 23:30, which eventually made all the difference despite their relative lack of conviction in the red zone.