4 silver linings from the Panthers’ Week 9 loss at the Chiefs

(Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports) Teddy Bridgewater and Matt Rhule
(Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports) Teddy Bridgewater and Matt Rhule /
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Carolina Panthers
(Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports) Curtis Samuel /

87. 33. 124. Final. 31

Some silver linings to take from the Carolina Panthers’ loss at the Chiefs.

The dust has now settled on another close game that eventually got away from the Carolina Panthers. Their 33-31 loss at the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs saw Matt Rhule’s men come within a missed field goal on the game’s final play to secure the shock of the 2020 season so far and it was a largely encouraging performance on the whole.

This scenario is something we’ve seen all-too-often with the Carolina Panthers in recent weeks. They’ve been able to mix it with the NFL’s best without quite doing enough in the closing stages, so when they figure out how to turn these hard-fought losses into wins, the sky is the limit.

There are some clear problems that need to be rectified. But for the Panthers to be this competitive in year one of their rebuild with a brand-new roster is a solid foundation from which to build a successful future.

We are now getting down to the business end of the season, which will also see Carolina get some much-needed rest during their Week 13 bye. Let’s take a look at four silver linings the Panthers can take from their loss at Arrowhead Stadium.

1. The Carolina Panthers moved the ball well on offense

Although the Panthers failed to come up with the goods on the game’s final drive, the way they moved the ball early and often on offense was a big improvement to anything we’ve seen over the previous fortnight. This obviously coincided with the return of star running back Christian McCaffrey, who looked like he’d never been away.

They managed to put up 457 total yards on Sunday at the NFL’s best team until proven otherwise. If they can do the same in the coming weeks against teams that harbor far less in the way of postseason ambitions, then it should enable Carolina to emerge from the 2020 campaign with some semblance of respectability from a record perspective.

Much will depend on McCaffrey’s shoulder injury – which is currently day-to-day – and if he is forced to miss more time it’s going to be a problem.