5 studs and duds from the Panthers’ loss vs. Saints in Week 17

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Teddy Bridgewater
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Teddy Bridgewater /
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Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) P.J. Walker /

Final. 33. 15. 7. 87

Studs and duds from the Carolina Panthers’ loss to the Saints in Week 17.

It was the most disappointing of ways to finish the 2020 season. The Carolina Panthers were outfought and outmatched by the New Orleans Saints at Bank of America Stadium in Week 17, leaving Matt Rhule with a 5-11 record and the No. 8 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft to show for his first campaign at the helm.

This was an unacceptable performance in more ways than one. And it leaves a lot more questions than answers regarding the Carolina Panthers and just how much longer it is going to take for the organization to get themselves back into postseason contention.

Rhule and the new general manager have a big job on their hands. The next few months and the decisions that come with it are going to ultimately determine their fortunes moving forward and it won’t be long before owner David Tepper is going to demand results on the field to match his lofty ambitions away from the gridiron.

Let’s take a look at some studs and duds from Carolina’s final game of what has been another rollercoaster season.

Dud No. 1

Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) P.J. Walker /

P.J. Walker – Carolina Panthers QB

Fans got what they wanted in the second half when Teddy Bridgewater’s lack of production resulted in a benching, which saw P.J. Walker step into the breach for the second time this season. However, what we saw from the quarterback only highlighted the need for a change in ideas at the position this offseason.

Walker was flustered behind a struggling offensive line, making a series of rash decisions that cost the Panthers. There were a couple of nice throws down the stretch, but if the former XFL star wanted to use this as an audition for a bigger role next time around, he failed miserably.

The signal-caller eventually ended the game with a 35.71 completion percentage, 95 passing yards, no touchdowns, three interceptions, and a passer rating of just 20.5. This simply isn’t good enough and nobody will know that more than Walker himself.