Carolina Panthers need a kicking competition after latest Joey Slye miss

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Joey Slye
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Joey Slye /

Another missed field goal early from Joey Slye leaves no doubt that the Carolina Panthers should explore alternative options at kicker.

It’s only the preseason, granted. But the same frustrating problems seem to be resurfacing with Carolina Panthers kicker Joey Slye.

The kicker didn’t exactly get off to the best of starts against the Baltimore Ravens, missing a makeable field goal in the first quarter. Not exactly what Slye had in mind following an inconsistent outing at the Indianapolis Colts in preseason Week 1.

Carolina has a big upcoming complication with Slye. They chose not to bring in any real competition for the former Virginia Tech star during training camp, with Zane Gonzalez and Matt Ammendola not lasting long before they were shipped out.

This has clearly led to some complacency from the player’s perspective. Whether he or the coaching staff will admit it or not.

Once doubts start creeping into a kicker’s game, it’s hard to get back.

What’s perhaps more problematic for the Panthers is this is happening in the preseason. So it’s a long road back for Slye in the coming weeks providing Carolina gives him a reprieve.

Carolina Panthers need some competition for Joey Slye.

The Panthers aren’t expected to be blowing anybody out in 2021. They aren’t built for that just yet.

Matt Rhule’s men were competitive against some top teams last season and should be again. However, if their red-zone struggles continue they’ll need Slye to be consistent in the pursuit of keeping the scoreboard ticking over.

Is anybody associated with the Panthers confident that Slye can do this?

Deep down, probably not.

This is even more frustrating when one considers how good Ammendola looked during the New York Jets preseason game at the Green Bay Packers. A case of what might have been for Carolina.

General manager Scott Fitterer has to get some competition into the organization, at the very least. It’s simply irresponsible to do anything else at this juncture.

Slye is a strong character who has a fan in Rhule. But that will only get you so far in the NFL and history has proven how expendable kickers are compared to other players in different positions.

The player did atone for this error with a 41-yarder in the second half. However, that does nothing to dispel the notion Slye cannot be relied upon when it matters most.

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Just what the Panthers will do regarding their kicking dilemma from here is the big question.