3 problems the Carolina Panthers need to fix at the midseason point

(Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule
(Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule /
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Carolina Panthers
(Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports) Joe Brady /

Third-down efficiency

The Carolina Panthers have been competitive in most of their games this season, which is an encouraging sign given the quality of teams they’ve come up against. However, their lack of conviction on third down is something that has really hampered their progression.

This is occurring frequently on both sides of the ball. Offensive Joe Brady has grown in stature with each passing game to further enhance his growing reputation, but if there was one fault for the offense so far it’s their struggles on third down and in the red zone.

They have the tools to be much better in this area and getting Christian McCaffrey back should also help. This season is seen as a learning curve for this group, but the Panthers will be expecting much more during the second half of the campaign and in 2021 with a few more quality reinforcements.

The defense isn’t off the hook, either. Phil Snow’s scheme has done a nice job of getting opposing offenses in third-and-long situations over the last few weeks, but their soft zone has resulted in a significant amount of frustration from the outside looking in.

Carolina needs to rectify this at the earliest possibility. If they manage to make improvements, then it should come with some wins before they call it a day this season.