Commentary| The Carolina Panthers entered Sundays game against the Arizona Cardinals at 1-2, hopes of going 2-2. After thrashing the New York Giants 38-0 in a week 3 win, the Panthers were feeling good about their team’s chances. During their bye week, the team decided to trade former pro bowl linebacker John Beason to the New York Giants, due to the emergence of Chase Blackburn, bad move.
Facing the Cardinals after their week 4 win over the lowly Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Carolina still had to be thinking, easy win. The Panthers offense came in after 400 yards of offense and allowing 150 yards against the Giants, the Cardinals in their week 4 win against the Buccaneers totaled 253 yards and gave up 296 yards; this was against Tampa Bay, the Panthers defense had to be licking their chops. Two weeks to prepare for a team should have your defense at an advantage; the defense picked off Palmer three times today, sacked him twice and held the running attack to 95 yards, but somehow still managed to lose.
Carolina reached the red zone three times and came away with no points, that’s not winning football there, the Cardinals reached the red zone three times and scored twice, see the difference. Cam Newton has to do a better job of reading defenses, three picks is not acceptable, he wanted to be a leader, well leaders makes adjustments. Cam Newton passed for 300 yards, and rushed for another 25 yards, but he kept giving the Cardinals a short field and that puts your defense in a compromising position. Cam sacked seven times and hurried plenty others, the offensive line have to do a better job with protection.
The rushing attack of the Panthers was nonexistent this week, rushing for 95 yards on only 20 carries, 20 carries is not going to win you many games, those carries have to be around the 25-30 mark. It takes pressure off your quarterback and your defense, hopefully Jonathan Stewart will return for their week 6 game against the Minnesota Vikings and give the offense a much need boost. There were talks of Brandon Lafell maybe finally breaking out after his two-touchdown game against the Giants; he managed on 41 yards on 4 catches against the Cardinals. Steve smith had 60 yards on four catches, with two drops as well. Greg Olsen decided he wanted to play today, ending the game with five catches for 79 yards. This offense is capable of so much more.
Ron Rivera has to look in the mirror and ask why his team had nine penalties for 79 yards; more discipline is needed if you want to be considered a winning team. Put this loss behind us and get ready for the Vikings next week.