4 critical observations from Carolina Panthers’ putrid defeat vs. Colts in Week 9

It was a afternoon to forget...

Bryce Young
Bryce Young / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
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Carolina Panthers OL regression is alarming

The offensive line has gone from the Carolina Panthers' best-performing unit in 2022 to arguably the worst halfway through the 2023 campaign. This unit has regressed alarmingly - it’s no wonder we’re seeing mistakes from Bryce Young as he is constantly under duress with no protection from the five in front of him.

The Panthers find themselves in a predicament where it would be no surprise if aside from Austin Corbett, they have four new starters on the offensive line compared to the five that lined up against the Indianapolis Colts.

Ikem Ekwonu is a liability on the blindside and is playing his way into a potential camp battle with the returning Brady Christesen next offseason. Calvin Throckmorton has performed admirably as a plug-and-play guard, but he is not a long-term option at the position.

Another player whose regression has been stark is Bradley Bozeman - a fan favorite in 2022. The big mauler in the middle is not suited to the scheme run by Frank Reich and is struggling as a result.

We saw his prowess under Steve Wilks when the Panthers were a downhill running team. Corbett is the Panthers' best offensive player, and Taylor Moton is a fine right tackle but not good enough for his $30 million cap hits in 2024 and 2025.

If things don't start trending upward - and quickly - don’t be surprised to see offensive line coach James Campen, a holdover from the Matt Rhule regime, made surplus to requirements.