5 big storylines to watch during Carolina Panthers vs. NY Jets in Week 1

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Robby Anderson
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Robby Anderson /
2 of 5
Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule /

Management of in-game situations

The Carolina Panthers were far more competitive than many anticipated during the 2020 season. Even though this didn’t amount to anything more than a 5-11 record for the second straight year.

There were many factors involved in Carolina faltering time and time again in crucial situations. Poor pass protection, inconsistent quarterback play, missed kicks, and a lack of defensive capabilities getting off the field on third down to name but a few.

However, the coaching staff also need to shoulder their fair share of responsibility.

It wasn’t an easy situation for Matt Rhule and his staff to walk into last season. COVID-19 restrictions significantly hampered their preparations and afforded them little time to implement their ideas onto a new-look roster that was devoid of any real veteran leadership.

That being said, their in-game management of situational football was naive and not in keeping with what it takes to be successful at the next level.

There were excuses, obviously. But that won’t be the case this time around.

As stated previously, Carolina needs to get off to a fast start this season. Simply put, Rhule, Phil Snow, and Joe Brady can ill-afford the same complications we saw from start to finish during the previous campaign.

Among the things needed to improve are red-zone efficiency, third-down production, and simple game management when protecting a lead.