7 key takeaways from Panthers’ loss vs. the Saints in Week 17

(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) Teddy Bridgewater
(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) Teddy Bridgewater /
2 of 3
Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Teddy Bridgewater /

Teddy Bridgewater might be done

The Carolina Panthers officially have a problem on their hands with Teddy Bridgewater. His disappointing finish to the season was littered with individual errors that could have been far worse and given their decision to give the player a three-year deal in free agency, they are now stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Bridgewater’s benching was long overdue.

And confidence is a horrible thing not to have as a quarterback.

He is not the long-term answer, of that there is little doubt. Bridgewater’s morale is now as low as it’s probably ever been and this is something that cost the Panthers once again in Week 17.

What comes next is unclear. But Carolina needs to find a better solution after letting Cam Newton go amid the worst possible timing.

Jared Cook was a problem

The matchup problems created by tight end Jared Cook have been a real problem for the Panthers over the years. It’s a riddle they simply haven’t been able to solve and the player was one of the real difference-makers on offense once again.

Cook brought in four receptions for 43 receiving yards and a touchdown in the first half alone as the Saints took an 11-point cushion into the break. His mere presence changed the whole dynamic for the New Orleans offense and it further exposed the lack of ability in coverage of Carolina’s linebacker group.

Ther Moore/Bridgewater problem

Yes, D.J. Moore is over 1,000-yards receiving. But anyone who’s watched the Panthers for a prolonged period this season knows there is a serious lack of chemistry with Teddy Bridgewater at times.

This was once again evident against the Saints, which left Moore with five receptions for 101 yards from 11 targets. There’s just no telling what his numbers would look like had the timing with his signal-caller been a little better throughout the campaign and it remains to be seen whether there will be someone new under center by the time competitive action rolls around in 2021.