4 areas Panthers QB Baker Mayfield must improve in Week 4 vs. Cardinals

(Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images) Baker Mayfield
(Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images) Baker Mayfield /
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Baker Mayfield
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Baker Mayfield must have more conviction

Having Baker Mayfield participate in a quarterback competition with Sam Darnold throughout training camp was a gamble that’s not paid off for the Carolina Panthers. While head coach Matt Rhule wanted everyone to earn their spots, this method has impacted chemistry, familiarity, and scheme cohesion over the first three weeks despite what the former Baylor man tells you.

Mayfield joined the franchise just a short period before camp, which made this complication even worse and something that could have been avoided. However, the time for improvements has arrived, so the former Oklahoma standout must show conviction when distributing the football and perform better than the flashes we’ve seen over the opening three weeks.

If anything, Mayfield’s production regressed against the New Orleans Saints. Laviska Shenault Jr.’s long touchdown padded what were some dismal stats, which won’t go unnoticed by the Arizona Cardinals and their impressive defensive front seven ahead of Sunday’s clash.

This all comes down to confidence. Mayfield integrated well in a short space of time this summer, but there are obvious limitations within the system that need addressing as a matter of urgency.

Picking the right read and delivering the football with conviction would be a great place to start for Mayfield. If he can accomplish this more effectively, then Arizona’s defensive backs outside of stud safety Budda Baker are suspect enough to expose.