Carolina Panthers couldn’t run the ball
The first half on offense looked very similar to last year. There were lots of three-and-outs and poor utilization of the weapons on the field.
Christian McCaffrey hardly saw the ball in the first half. If this offense wants to succeed in any way then coordinator Ben McAdoo will have to scheme in ways to get his star player more involved right out of the gate no matter how many people stack the box.
Without the threat of the run game, the Cleveland Browns were able to pin their ears back and get after Baker Mayfield. The Carolina Panthers quarterback was constantly hurried in his progression, but he should have known the threat on the defensive side of the ball and found ways to get the football out quicker on occasions.
The offense will have to pick things up very quickly for a successful season. Carolina needs to be clicking early and often, so this was not a good start.
Failure to move the chains effectively gave the Browns some great field position to capitalize on. Especially with the interception thrown way over Shi Smith’s head, which was costly and came back to bite them.
This was just the first game, so it would be a surprise if things followed a similar trend during the season. But it was a severe wake-up call that needs immediate attention.