5 pivotal matchups the Panthers must win vs. the Vikings in Week 6

(Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold
(Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /
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Carolina Panthers
(Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /

2-3. FOX. Sunday, October 17. 87. Panthers -1.0. 1 PM ET. 60. 3-2

I am about to start writing the opposite of what I think because it seems like the Carolina Panthers coaching staff is reading the things I say not to do and then writes a playbook full of them. Something that came true once again in Week 5 against the Philadelphia Eagles.

  • Don’t test Darius Slay: Proceeds to gift him two interceptions.
  • Contain Jalen Hurts and keep him in the pocket, be disciplined in your gaps: Gives him enormous running lanes.
  • Protect the liability up the middle: Leaves them on an island and gives up multiple sacks, pressures, and tackles for a loss.

What. Are. We. Doing.

The Panthers absolutely dominated the first half of this game on defense and were passable on offense. Taking a 15-6 lead into halftime only to see it once again evaporate before our eyes and lose 21-18.

This is no longer on the players, it’s almost like the adjustments the team makes at the break, if they even make any, always make the team worse. This is on the coaching staff and Matt Rhule now has a brand new fire under his seat and we may be seeing why Joe Brady wasn’t hired as a head coach in the offseason.

How our defense and, even more so, our offense comes out of every half this bad is beyond comprehension.

But at least Chuba Hubbard finally got a 100-yard game right?

That and Taylor Moton did well at an unfamiliar position at left tackle and rookie Brady Christensen was finally given a much-deserved chance at playing time, doing wonders to solidify the right side with the train wreck that was John Miller beside him.

But once again there is very little to be happy about in this game. Shaq Thompson and Chrisitan McCaffrey can’t fix this alone.

I have never been the type to overreact or call for coaching changes in the past, even during the worst of times for both the Dallas Cowboys and Panthers, but this staff is testing my patience.

Carolina is wasting the talent and potential of these young players and it’s a very depressing sight to see. Not to mention once again ruining Sam Darnold’s recent momentum.

Things sadly won’t be any better next week against a much tougher out in the Minnesota Vikings.

While their talent hasn’t translated into wins this season, the Vikings are a good team and their defensive line demolished the Detroit Lions on Sunday with four sacks and three tackles for a loss.

Something that does not bode well for the Panthers.

On top of this, Justin Jefferson totaled more than 100 yards in the first half of the game before cooling down and Alexander Mattison ran for over 100 himself.

This adds up to a complete team in a way the Panthers have yet to really see this year at a time they desperately need a win. How can the team get back on track? These matchups will decide their fate.