4 developing problems the Carolina Panthers need to fix through Week 2

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Pat Elflein
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Pat Elflein /
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Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Zane Gonzalez /

Carolina Panthers kicking

This is both developing and ongoing.

Also, extremely frustrating.

The Carolina Panthers were banking on Zane Gonzalez finally giving them a consistent presence at kicker after waiving Joey Slye and his replacement, Ryan Santoso, after just one game to save themselves a seventh-round pick.

However, it wasn’t exactly the best of starts for the veteran on Sunday.

Gonzalez had a difficult afternoon overall, having a field goal blocked and missing an extra point. Something that simply cannot continue if the Panthers want to keep surprising people.

Not only this, but Gonzalez’s kickoffs were reaching the end zone, which is something Matt Rhule was “willing to sacrifice” in favor of kicking accuracy that wasn’t there.

It also exposed some flaws from a coverage standpoint on special teams. Chase Blackburn has his work cut out trying to improve matters in the coming days before they take the field at NRG Stadium.

Gonzalez – who turned out for the Arizona Cardinals in 2020 – is probably lucky the Panthers are on a short week. He’ll get one more chance to earn an extended stay, but Carolina won’t think twice about cutting him loose with another inconsistent display.

One only has to look at how the Minnesota Vikings failed at the death at Arizona in Week 2 to see what problems could emerge in close contests.