5 things the Carolina Panthers must learn from Week 2 loss vs. Saints

There was once again a lot to unpack from Week 2's loss.

Jeremy Chinn
Jeremy Chinn / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
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Carolina Panthers continuity on OL interior

When Brady Christensen was lost for the season after suffering a bicep injury during the first game, Frank Reich detailed his desire to maintain continuity as much as possible along the offensive line - regardless of who earned the start at the vacant position. He may have meant that was a goal for Week 3.

After implying that rookie Chandler Zavala was likely to remain at right guard - again, for the sake of continuity - big No. 62 got the start on the left side next to his former college teammate, Ikem Ekwonu. Cade Mays got the nod at the right guard spot.

Zavala played 100 percent of snaps on offense. Mays, on the other hand, only played 34 snaps, in which he surrendered a couple of pressures and committed a penalty. That may not paint the picture as poorly as it looked on tape, because it wasn’t a great showing.

Mays had already been beaten out for the starting right guard spot by Zavala to start the season, and this was an emergency spot that the staff hoped he’d step up for. It may be time to look another way moving forward. And they did after those 34 offensive plays.

Acquired off waivers after the preseason, newcomer Calvin Throckmorton relieved Mays a little less than halfway through the third quarter. He performed well enough, considering the situation and how long he’s been on the roster.

But beyond the individual performances, the lesson to be learned here may just be that it’s better to come to a landing spot on who’s playing where on this offensive line in practice, commit to that approach, and execute it the absolute best you can.

Musical chairs can be an entertaining game. I’m not sold on it being an exemplary strategy for protecting a quarterback and generating running lanes.