4 critical observations from Panthers defeat vs. Steelers in Week 15

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Terrace Marshall Jr.
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Terrace Marshall Jr. /
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What were some critical observations to emerge as the Carolina Panthers suffered a dent in their playoff hopes against the Pittsburgh Steelers?

Protect the Bank -those were the words of interim head coach Steve Wilks following a first road win of the season a week ago. Unfortunately, the Carolina Panthers failed to build on a three-game home winning streak, losing 24-16 to the Pittsburgh Steelers during an immensely disappointing afternoon.

This was being billed by many as a potential trap game for the Panthers. The Steelers squad have little to play for other than pride and were missing quarterback Kenny Pickett, so this should have been a game Carolina won comfortably.

Instead, what we saw was the Panthers’ offensive and defensive fronts completely dominated in what could be a damaging loss when the time for important decisions come at the end of the campaign.

All is not lost, however. While confined to another losing season, the Panthers must now win their remaining three games in pursuit of an unlikely NFC South divisional crown after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers blew a 17-point lead against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Unlikely, but not impossible.

Without further ado, let’s break down four critical observations to emerge from a miserable Sunday for the Panthers at Bank of America Stadium.