4 big takeaways from the Panthers’ loss at the Chiefs in Week 9

(Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey and Chris Reed
(Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey and Chris Reed /
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Carolina Panthers
(Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports) Travis Kelce /

Travis Kelce had his way with the Carolina Panthers

Matt Rhule’s concerns coming into the game regarding the potential matchup problem awaiting the Carolina Panthers with Travis Kelce was there for all to see. The tight end enjoyed a phenomenal amount of success and took full advantage of a suspect linebacker group that was missing influential rookie Jeremy Chin through injury.

Everyone knows that Patrick Mahomes is going to Kelce early and often. But there is little any defense can do to stop the All-Pro duo from getting their fill.

However, Carolina should’ve done better to prevent his immense threat.

Kelce just seemed to get open at will, which is hardly surprising when one considers just how much the Panthers have struggled at the second level from a coverage perspective this season. Shaq Thompson and Tahir Whitehead are not the answer and even when Carolina put the likes of Corn Elder of Rasul Douglas on the tight end, it failed to have the necessary impact.

Carolina chose not to bring in any linebacker help at the trade deadline. But if it’s not their top priority in the offseason, then it is rapidly becoming just that.

As for Kelce, he finished the game with 10 catches for 159 receiving yards, which was just a small indicator of how much he contributed to swinging momentum after a positive start overall from the Panthers.