5 harsh realities facing Carolina Panthers ahead of Week 3 vs. Saints

(Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule
(Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule /
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What are some harsh realities facing the Carolina Panthers as they get set for a crunch clash against the New Orleans Saints in Week 3?

There’s no way of sugarcoating it, Carolina Panthers fans are pretty close to rock bottom after two losses against teams with sub-par quarterback play. The struggling franchise now sits at 0-2 to start the season, which is the worst-case scenario after an encouraging offseason.

A quick look at the upcoming schedule sees the Panthers face the likes of Matthew Stafford, Tom Brady, and Kyler Murray. Quarterbacks who went to the postseason a year ago, which leaves Carolina with the possibility of their season being close to over after just seven games.

Despite being two weeks into the season, the Panthers are still trying to bring facets of their game together. Especially on offense, which has looked disjointed under a new offensive scheme.

Potentially this is a by-product of new starting quarterback Baker Mayfield splitting reps after his arrival, partaking in a competition charade against last season’s starter Sam Darnold.

We saw slight improvements in Week 2 at the New York Giants from a defensive unit that in the season opener was run all over. But yet again, the Panthers failed to create any takeaways and couldn’t get off the field on critical third downs.

The pressure is now higher than ever before. Here are five harsh realities facing the Panthers ahead of their pivotal Week 3 encounter against the New Orleans Saints.