Panthers News: Ikem Ekwonu, Xavier Woods, Jake Luton and power rankings

Examining the latest Carolina Panthers news and rumors from around the media.

Xavier Woods
Xavier Woods / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
3 of 4

Carolina Panthers drop in ESPN's power rankings

After so much hope and being told the Carolina Panthers had a roster capable of dropping in a quarterback and taking off, it hasn't taken long for the doom and gloom to return. Frank Reich's men are one of four winless teams through three weeks, which means there is much work ahead to turn this sinking ship around.

Injuries haven't helped. But this looks like a team struggling to find an identity despite team owner David Tepper shelling out major money for the finest coaching staff imaginable.

It's not like they could go much lower all things considered, but the Panthers dropped one spot to No. 30 in ESPN's power rankings heading into Week 4. When asked about the team's biggest weakness, beat reporter David Newton pointed the finger squarely at the offensive line after their ill-disciplined showing at the Seattle Seahawks.

"The real question here is what isn't wrong? The running game was nonexistent Sunday (14 carries for 44 yards), pass protection has been suspect since Week 1 and now this group had eight false starts at Seattle. Six of them came from their tackles, Ikem Ekwonu (4) and Taylor Moton (2). As coach Frank Reich said, they've got to figure it out."

David Newton, ESPN

As the old saying goes, the only way is up. But if the Panthers cannot get one over on the 0-3 Minnesota Vikings at Bank of America Stadium this Sunday, the pitchforks will be out in no uncertain terms.