C3 Up, Three Down

Three Things the Carolina Panthers Did Well

The reunion with Julius Peppers at Lambeau Field did not go well this past Sunday for the Carolina Panthers. Peppers finished the game with 1.5 sacks and a smile on his face. Aaron Rodgers told the Green Bay Packer fans to R-E-L-A-X and that is exactly what he did in the pocket against the Panthers. Even though the Panthers decided to take the day off against the Packers, they had to do something right. 
What three things did the Carolina Panthers do well week seven?
  1. Keep Showing Me the Benjamin – It is hard not to write about Kelvin Benjamin every week. He scored another touchdown this past week and continues to blow other rookies out of the water. Benjamin now has five touchdowns and is tied with star wide receivers; Brandon Marshall, Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown.
  2. Sack Machine – If the Panthers want to be successful on defense they need help from Charles Johnson. CJ has been injured all season and has been a bit sluggish. He has turned on his jets recently and has recorded a sack in three straight games. He needs to continue to be dominant upfront to help the weak defensive secondary.
  3. Hometown Hero – Brenton Bersin scored his first NFL touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Green Bay Packers. It was a one yard touchdown pass from Derek Anderson. The game was already over, but who doesn’t love a hometown kid? Bersin finished the day with three receptions for 21 yards and one touchdown. Does this mean that there are more good things to come from Bersin?

By Justin Raymond
Follow me on Twitter @JayRay19 

Three Things the Carolina Panthers Did Poorly

The hope I had was these 3 up and 3 down pieces would get harder and harder for me. I mean the Panthers would be playing so good as the season progressed I would have to dig deeper and deeper into the statistics to find three things to be down about. This has not been the case however. Each week there has all kinds of things to be down about. This game against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers is the season low point for me. This game was an opportunity. An opportunity to show the rest of the NFL that despite injuries and suspensions, the Carolina Panthers are a legitimate NFL contender. Well Aaron Rodgers easily dismissed any notion of contention by Carolina. Here are the three things to be down about if you are a Carolina Panthers fan:

  1. Secondary Concerns: There is no hope for any improvement in this position group until we get healthy. And even then it is only a hope. The guys coming back are a rookie (Sticki Wiki) and preseason All Pro Josh Norman. Bene Benwikere has talent but lacks playing time and experience and Josh Norman has shown flashes of greatness but can’t seem to put it all together. So we can hope that these two young and inexperienced corners can come in and play above their heads and turn this secondary around. We can see Harper is playing too many downs and Godfrey is playing out of position. This position group will continue to get exposed as long as our defensive line does not pressure the opposing team’s quarterback.
  2. Offensive Line: This group has been a question mark since before the beginning of training camp. Perhaps Panthers fans hoped this group would gel and the whole would be greater than the sum of it’s parts. This has not been the case. The group has had flashes of brilliance but has not been consistent. The situation seems to be going from bad to worse with injuries piling up along the offensive line. Was there not enough done in the off season to improve the O line? Did Dave Gettleman get this one wrong? There seems to be more questions after each week than answers.
  3. Defense: This group was so dominant last season. There was no doubt we had the best front seven in the league. This year we are awful. We do have talent on this unit, Luke, Big Money, and Thomas Davis, but the poor play from other positions has directly affected the performance of theses players. Luke has not been his normal tackling machine self, Big Money has not been able to disrupt the opponent’s offense like we have seen in the past, and Thomas Davis has missed more tackles through seven games this season than he missed all of last season. This units success has been predicated on an effective pass rush. Until that pass rush is once again consistent, this defense will continue to struggle.

Tough game to watch yesterday. As fans we want our team to win every game, but if they can’t win at least be competitive. That was not the case yesterday, the Panthers were just out manned. The Packers personnel was flat out better than the Panthers personnel. Dave Gettleman, you have a lot of work to do this upcoming offseason.

By that "Freak'n Puerto Rican