4 major problems the Carolina Panthers need to fix at the bye week

(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) Matt Rhule
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) Matt Rhule /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) Robby Anderson and Joe Brady /

Close game management

The Carolina Panthers failing to come through down the stretch in close games has been the story of the season. A 4-8 record at the bye might look far different had things gone their way in even two of those contests and the longer this problem presents itself, the longer it’s going to take to solve.

This might be a mindset thing more than anything from everyone associated with the organization. Once a team starts struggling like this at the business end of games it becomes part of their psyche and is incredibly difficult to remove.

Again, it needs to be a collective effort.

And in truth, it just comes down to playing smart situational football.

Playing the blame game at this point won’t do anybody any favors.

Matt Rhule has probably found out plenty about what sort of characters he is working with during a season full of ups and downs. So how some individuals respond to this problematic element of their overall failings could be the difference between them remaining on the roster or being cut loose once competitive action concludes.

There is a lot riding on this from a coaching standpoint, too. Rhule and his staff are getting a pass on their eventual record in 2020. But if these problems continue next season, they won’t be so lucky.