4 critical observations from Carolina Panthers torrid defeat vs. Vikings in Week 4

This is becoming a concerning trend...

Ikem Ekwonu
Ikem Ekwonu / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
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Carolina Panthers HC Frank Reich's seat is heating up

This seems crazy to say just four weeks into the regular season, but the Carolina Panthers have been borderline unwatchable under Frank Reich's leadership. For what it’s worth, it’s unlikely that the head coach will be fired at all this season regardless of how the next 13 weeks pan out, but the pressure should certainly be on.

One thing that should happen soon is that Reich needs to relinquish play-calling duties and let his offensive coordinator Thomas Brown unleash his philosophy learned from Sean McVay, one of the league’s best coaches. After a preseason of vanilla play calling, fans were assured the playbook would be opened up in the regular season. Outside the first 10 scripted plays, this is not the case.

The Panthers’ offensive plays seem painfully predictable, with two inside zone runs usually to Miles Sanders for little to no gain, and then a wide receiver screen to Adam Thielen, usually resulting in a three-and-out. Considering Carolina drafted Bryce Young at No. 1 overall, they seem strangely hesitant to let the player throw past the line of scrimmage.

It seemed for most of the game against the Minnesota Vikings we heard Young shouting “kill” pre-snap to change from the play given by Reich. It also seemed this was the first time the signal-caller was on multiple occasions visibly frustrated.

We also saw comical scenes in the Panthers' post-game press conference as Reich admitted he called a play in the fourth quarter that could only go to Adam Thielen despite the wideout not even being on the field. We didn’t even see this level of ineptitude from Matt Rhule and fans are understandably growing tired.