One of the lasting moments from the 2020 Presidental Election was then Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris drunk with joy as she called President-Elect Joe Biden to inform him that he won the election.
“We Did It Joe!” Harris slurred. “We did it”
While Harris’ reaction was meme-worthy, it was an expression of elation and triumph. It was also imperfect, but raw and human.
For the Carolina Panthers, “We Did It Joe” is more damning in nature. Carolina lost to the New York Giants 25-3 in week 7. The score was ugly. The context of the score, however, is hideous! Carolina accumulated only 200 yards of offense, including 56 yards on the ground. They also went eight possessions without a first down. This output by Brady and the Panthers’ offense is the peak; the apex of an ongoing problem that’s been plaguing this team offensively. And that problem is obvious: Joe Brady’s offense and play calling is not living up to expectations.
Hype Over Substance
Brady was the architect of the LSU offense that won the 2019 national championship. He won the Broyles Award and became coveted by NFL teams desperate for a coordinator. The Panthers eventually hired Brady in January 2020. Since then, little has changed for the Panthers on the offensive end. The plays are just as rigid, one-dimensional and conservative as before.
It seems as if Brady does not cater to the strengths and weaknesses of his roster in its entirety and just relies on CMC. When CMC is out of the lineup, there is no diversity in playcalling. There is no improvisation. Opposing defenses pick up on this and hold Carolina to paltry numbers.
If Brady isn’t catering, adjusting and adapting to the roster’s strengths and weaknesses, he isn’t adapting to the opposing defense’s strengths and isn’t taking advantage of their weaknesses. This was evident against the Giants. New York struggles against the run. Why didn’t the Panthers exploit it and exploit it often?
The Panthers have yet to carve out a sustainable identity on offense, because of stagnant play calling by Brady and Rhule. If the Panthers want to realize the goal of making the playoffs and building to contend for seasons to come, 18th (and dropping) in the league in total offense to complement a defense that’s doing all it can to carry this team to wins, isn’t going to cut it.