Week 14 Recap: Panthers at Browns
Pardon the delayed recap but I was so depressed after yet another excruciating loss at the hands of the Browns, I couldn’t write yesterday because I was so upset. We can pretend to point fingers at one side of the ball or another but in the end, the whole team didn’t play well on Sunday. While they keep moving the ball consistently on offense, the Panthers have reverted to their ways of the past few years as far as red zone efficiency. Apart from giving the ball to Christian McCaffrey, they just can’t seem to find a way to get in the end zone. The loss of Greg Olsen hurts but they have had to play the better part of the last two seasons with him in and out of the lineup. That is no longer an excuse plus Rookie TE Ian Thomas looked solid on Sunday. Minus that big mental mistake where he got flagged for excessive celebration after picking up a crucial 3rd down conversion, that hurt. The defense continued to give up chunk plays at an alarming clip but it is not all on them. I think I got more pressure on Baker sitting in my recliner yesterday than the Panthers did, another lackluster effort. I could go on and on about how the Panthers played themselves out of this game like they have the past few weekends. They just can’t seem to get the monkey off their backs and it’s not going to change next Monday night when the Saints come to Bank of America.
The Saints struggled for a good portion of their game with the Buccaneers but eventually got in the end zone a few times and were able to beat the Bucs 28 – 14. The Saints haven’t looked near as sharp on offense the past 2 weeks but that will all change when they come to town for Monday night football. I’ll have my preview out later this week, but early assessment is not a pretty one. Playoff hopes are dim for the panthers right now and are going to need a drastic turnaround if they are to keep their slim chances alive. What seemed like such a promising season early on is turning into an all to familiar ending that long-time Panthers fans are almost accustomed to at this point. They could use some help from the Vikings tonight if they can take down the Seahawks on Monday night football, it would give a slight boost. In the end they will have to take care of business on their end if they want to sniff the postseason.