Carolina Panthers’ play-calling was suspect
Play-calling on both sides of the football was a major issue in Week 1. The Carolina Panthers went away from their over-reliance on Christian McCaffrey, significantly limiting their ability to move the chains and allowing the Cleveland Browns to gain a crucial early advantage.
Carolina didn’t achieve a first down until the second quarter. Ben McAdoo abandoned the run game without trying to see how the Browns’ defense would hold up.
When McCaffrey saw the ball he made something out of it. He was the spark on offense, forcing missed tackles and making plays out of nothing when the offensive line couldn’t hold up.
McAdoo needs to get McCaffrey involved early to open everything else up. Instead, he wanted to throw first and the Browns were salivating at the fact they didn’t have to deal with the former first-round pick out of Stanford.
Things weren’t much better on the defensive side. Carolina couldn’t stop the Browns’ running back tandem of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt and even when there were plays to be made, costly penalties or indifferent play-calling halted momentum.
It might be a new season, but the same old problems remain where the Panthers are concerned.