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
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Taylor Moton /

Blitz happy defense vs. Carolina Panthers suspect OL

Yes, I know. Another slide about the offensive line. That’s how bad it is.

One thing this line is not built for, if it’s even built for anything, is to protect against a blitz. The group as a whole can barely withstand a standard three-man rush let alone four or more. This is something that will get Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer smiling.

With how bad the protection and Sam Darnold have been against the blitz, why wouldn’t Zimmer be happy?

Even with his early season success, Darnold has still shown a tendency to spook into bad decisions when faced with pressure, a common occurrence in the last two weeks that won’t get better against the Vikings.

While Zimmer has toned it down some, he has gained the reputation of being a blitz-first play-caller which is a win-or-go-home mentality that can serve a team well if they have good coverage downfield.

However, that coverage doesn’t matter if you can get to the quarterback after all.

If the Carolina Panthers ever want to be back in the win column again they will have to wake up and realize that putting their line on an island is not going to work. Keeping back an extra blocker will limit the explosiveness of the team but those extra playmakers mean nothing if you don’t have the time to get the ball to them.

Keep Darnold upright and he can win games, let him get hit repeatedly and well, we’ve seen how that turns out.

I get trusting your guys, but after the players let you down time and time again it might mean that you need to give them a hand.

It’s not a matter of if but of when the Vikings will blitz and how the Panthers gameplan reacts will go a long way toward either victory or defeat.