Sunday’s 17-3 loss to the Chicago Bears, sending the Carolina Panthers to a 4-3 record and a two-game losing streak, has fans fed up with the lack of offense. Following the game, multiple petitions can be found online asking for Mike Shula to be relieved of his duties as offensive coordinator of the team. Week in and week out, the offense has been inconsistent and committing a lot of turnovers, but with the amount of talent the Panthers have on the offensive side of the ball, there is no reason why they should be performing as poorly as they have this season.
The defense is one of the best in the league and played extremely well against the Bears. They forced six three and outs, causing Mitchell Trubisksy to complete only four of his extremely low seven pass attempts, and allowing only 68 rushing yards. The difference in time of possession would have led you to believe that the Panthers won this game, as they had the ball for 38 minutes compared to the Bears who had it for only 21 minutes. The Panthers also gathered 293 yards on offense compared to the Bears’153. What drove the Panthers into this loss, however, was bad play calling from Shula that led to ineffective plays and turnovers which cost the team points. Cam Newton threw two interceptions Sunday and one fumble, two of those turnovers ended up being recovered for touchdowns which were practically the only scores for the Bears besides the field goal at the end of the second quarter.
Ron Rivera simply hasn’t been the coach the Panthers have needed him to be this season. He’s not showing the effort and passion for his team and players like he should be. He’s also leaving fans dumbfounded has he keeps supporting the game calls and gameplan by Shula even though it consistently doesn’t work for the team and is the reason for all the games where the team can’t even manage to score more than ten points. Neither coach has been willing to change up the game plan, be risky and attempt more field goal opportunities instead of punting it, or just letting the talented offense work their magic. Most of the time, it seems like the Panthers are trying to force plays to work. Once a call for a play is made, that’s it, nothing else is allowed to happen. The team rarely changes plays or makes adjustments pre-snap on offense and they constantly have to use timeouts to avoid delay of game penalties.
The Panthers need to make some sort of significant change if they want to keep being a competitor this season. Whether it is firing Shula, Ron Rivera, overhauling the offense, or one of the less likely options, make a change at quarterback. The Panthers have to do something because the defense has been fantastic but it’s the offense that is costing them games and points with all the turnovers and their inability to score. The Panthers will be playing at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers next week to try and come out with a win and get back on the right track.
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