10 quick thoughts from the Carolina Panthers loss at Bengals in Week 9

(Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports) P.J. Walker
(Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports) P.J. Walker /
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Carolina Panthers
(Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports) Shaq Thompson /

Carolina Panthers’ defense was lackluster

Firing defensive coordinator Phil Snow – a long-time Matt Rhule loyalist – was something Steve Wilks felt could benefit this group moving forward. However, after an encouraging display against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, it’s been a complete capitulation ever since.

The Carolina Panthers just couldn’t get anything going and were overwhelmed by the Cincinnati Bengals from start to finish. Yet another indicator as to just how far this team is from legitimately contending.

C.J. Henderson gave up too much

After arguably his best performance since joining the Panthers in Week 8, it was a difficult afternoon overall for cornerback C.J. Henderson. He gave up a series of completions in the first half and looked hesitant in coverage more often than not for the game’s entirety.

This was a step back for Henderson, who got extended playing time after Donte Jackson wasn’t risked despite being active. There’s plenty of football left, but this trade continues to come under significant scrutiny with a solid sample size to go off.

Carolina Panthers were out of sync on offense

As stated previously, P.J. Walker’s struggles saw him replaced in the second half for Baker Mayfield. There were slight signs of life following the change, but it proved to be another underwhelming game that they never really had a shot at getting anything out of.

Whether Mayfield gets the keys under center once again remains to be seen. Steve Wilks said it would be a weekly evaluation at quarterback, but there is also the impending return of Sam Darnold from injury to factor into the equation.