4 major observations from PJ Walker’s performance vs. Bucs in Week 7

(Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images) PJ Walker
(Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images) PJ Walker /
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PJ Walker
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) PJ Walker /

PJ Walker was clinical

One big criticism of the Carolina Panthers’ offense this season has been a distinct lack of conviction on third downs and in the red zone. A problem many expected to continue after the team traded Christian McCaffrey to the San Francisco 49ers.

Waving the white flag wasn’t in this team’s mindset. They are intent on restoring pride back into the organization following Matt Rhule’s disastrous three years as head coach, with PJ Walker providing the right mentality to turn red-zone trips into touchdowns that provided the spark behind Carolina’s second win of the campaign.

Just why offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo was so cautious with Walker in Week 6 is anyone’s guess. But he at least adjusted the scheme enough to make the best out of a bad situation and allow his quarterback the freedom to flourish in difficult circumstances.

This spoke a lot about the resolve within the locker room. While many fans were already looking towards the 2023 NFL Draft and the prospect of someone like Bryce Young or C.J. Stroud coming on board, losing is out of the question for players fighting for their own futures with a new head coach joining the franchise next year.

Walker was ruthless when it mattered most. Something that the Panthers have desperately craved from their signal-caller without much success in 2022 so far.