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) Teddy Bridgewater and Matt Rhule /

The Carolina Panthers came out flat in the third quarter

It was an encouraging first half for the Carolina Panthers, who went into the locker room with a surprise lead over the Chiefs thanks to some tremendous play on both sides of the ball.

Sadly, it didn’t last.

For some unbeknown reason, the Panthers have gotten into a habit of coming out sluggish after the break, which simply cannot happen if they want to be seriously considered as postseason contenders sooner rather than later. This put an end to their positive momentum almost instant and gave Carolina a mountain to climb.

There is no quit in this team, their fourth-quarter showing can attest to that. They fought incredibly hard down the stretch against the defending champions. But their less than stellar performance in the third was simply too much to overcome.

This wasn’t just one area, it was collective. Inability to move the chains on offense, defensive lapses, sloppy penalties, and suspect play-calling all played their part in their eventual demise, which was incredibly frustrating when one considers just how well the team played for the most part.

Bringing it for all four quarters separates the good teams from the great. The Panthers have been competitive against high-class opposition, and they were again in Week 9, but putting it all together will be crucial to getting over the hump and finding ways to win tight games.