David Tepper was better off saying nothing after the Falcons ransacked his Carolina Panthers 29-3 three seasons ago.
The then new owner emphasized that mediocrity will not be tolerated. Tepper is right, mediocrity isn’t tolerated in Charlotte. Abject failure, however, is. The San Francisco 49ers flew clear across the country and obliterated the Panthers 37-15 Sunday afternoon at Bank of America Stadium.
Here are observations from Carolina’s worst loss of the year.
Injuries Ransacking the Defense
Linebacker Frankie Luvu and safety Xavier Woods were ruled out against the Niners before kickoff. Cornerback Jaycee Horn sustained a hip injury, while Jeremy Chinn is currently on injured reserve. That’s four starters either out with injuries or hampered by them. While mostly solid for the season, the defense gave up multiple chunk plays throughout the game.
After Christian McCaffrey scored the Panthers’ only touchdown with 11:57 remaining in the 3rd quarter – trimming the Niners’ lead to eight – Matt Rhule decided to go for a two-point conversion that failed. Baker Mayfield posted a 61.7 QB rating – completing 20 of 36 passes and an interception. The offense is still struggling on third down – converting just twenty percent (3-15) of them. Their struggles are the main reason why the defense can’t stay off the field.
An Away Game At Home
According to the game’s stat book, 72,321 tickets were distributed for Sunday’s contest. Too bad most of them were rocking scarlet and gold, instead of blue and black. In fact, the empty seats made up most of the blue. Fans booed Mayfield as he limped late in the game. They also booed Panthers Head Coach Matt Rhule. Like I said last week, the boos, the slander and the criticism are all well deserved. Fans are fed up. They are sick and tired of supporting the team in its current state. It’s to the point where people in Twitter spaces are pleading with fans to find better ways to spend three hours of their Sunday afternoon instead of watching a once proud, competitive team deteriorate into an incompetent farce.
Next up, the Panthers will travel to Los Angeles for their week-six matchup against the defending Super Bowl Champion LA Rams next Sunday.