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October 16, 2011

What changes can the Panthers make?

   Observations after the Panthers' 31-17 loss in Atlanta on Sunday:

  -- There wasn't much new for anyone to say in the Panthers' locker room, having been through the drill too many times already this season. Big plays, particularly on third down, were a familiar culprit.

   Obviously, something needs to change for the Panthers to turn the near misses into victories but it's more a matter of execution than personnel, it seems. There's not a lot of shake-ups to be made on either side of the ball at the moment.

   Maintaining a positive attitude -- so far head coach Ron Rivera has done that -- remains essential as does channeling the frustration in the right direction.

  -- The schedule takes a turn for the better now for the Panthers. They play three straight home games with their off week scheduled after the second of those games.

   There are no guarantees, obviously, but hosting Washington, Minnesota and Tennessee offers the hope of generating some positive momentum in a season that keeps spinning its wheels.

  -- The Panthers have used rookie Kealoha Pilares on kickoff returns the past two games in place of Mike Goodson but still haven't generated much on the few returns they've had. Pilares averaged 22 yards on four returns Sunday and he's averaging 21 yards on six returns this season. That's not much different from the 22.7 yards per return Goodson was averaging.

  -- After the early questions about the running game, the Panthers have averaged 145 yards rushing over the last four games.

  -- The Panthers didn't get any easy chances Sunday. Their average starting position on eight possessions was their own 19-yard line. Part of that was their inability to produce any turnovers, putting them in good field position.

   In their first four possessions, the Panthers averaged 69.5 yards per possession. On their last four possessions, they averaged 22.5 yards per possession, including a 62-yard possession in the final minute when they were in hurry-up mode. 

-- Ron Green Jr.

Posted by Observer Sports on October 16, 2011 at 07:15 PM | Permalink


Nobody's going to get much in the KO return game this year. The reason for Pilares over Goodson was ball security and decision making, pure and simple.

Posted by: Authority | Oct 16, 2011 7:35:48 PM

Play Kearse and Fields at DT and maybe you can stop the run. If you cant stop the run you wont win..its that simple

Posted by: Bababooey | Oct 16, 2011 7:36:29 PM

Play Kearse and Fields at DT and maybe you can stop the run. If you cant stop the run you wont win..its that simple

Posted by: Bababooey | Oct 16, 2011 7:36:29 PM

The Panthers need to sign a veteran DT the defense against the run is bad. The DTs are just young and need a strong leader to help them learn. Pat Williams or Jamal Williams would be nice.

Posted by: Panther fan77 | Oct 16, 2011 7:44:59 PM

The defense in my opinion cost the Panthers this game; however, there were mistakes amongst the other players; but interferring with 2 catches and putting the Falcons on 1 yard line, was terrbile.

Posted by: Dr. McCullough | Oct 16, 2011 8:09:01 PM

I agree, search for some new big defense leaders would be an asset.

Posted by: Dr. McCullough | Oct 16, 2011 8:09:58 PM

Plain and simple DEFENSE has got to step it up! Give the offense some help PLEASE!

Posted by: Ryan | Oct 16, 2011 8:14:06 PM

Everyone needs to calm down, breathe deeply and quit pushing the panic button. I know we all have been impressed by Cam's play so far but this is a bad team, in some ways worse than last year especially on defense. Losing Beason & TD has really hurt us, and even Ron Edwards in the middle would have made the DT situation much better. This plus pathetic special-teams play and an offense that is a 180-degree change from FoxBall puts us in serious transition. DWill is a top-5 back and is just now finding a place in this offense. Do we even have a fullback on the roster anymore?

I know losing sucks folks but at least we have hope for the future (including the second half of the season), and that is something we did not have last year. And Dr. McCullough, please push the 'Post' button only once, you're comment will come through just fine :)

Posted by: Joe F. | Oct 16, 2011 8:16:08 PM

Just don't get it. We should have 5 wins, something just don't want us to win.

Posted by: Ryan | Oct 16, 2011 8:17:05 PM

Having our two rookies at DT is an asset for next year, IF they can get bulked up some more and stronger/quicker. However right now we need a Stronger stand in the middle to withstand double teams and shield the LB's. Its a long season still and the rooks aren't gonna get stronger this year! But they are getting schooled; CAN'T WAIT till next year!

Posted by: TheCatman | Oct 16, 2011 8:19:09 PM

Defense had too many penalties & couldn't contain Turner. Also couldn't get off the field on third down. Del Rio is on the hot seat; any chance he'd come back as a DC? Just wondering...

Posted by: CarolinaGurl | Oct 16, 2011 8:21:10 PM

The defense is playing bend and then finally break D. And they haven't been able to force turnovers. Special teams has yet to make a big positive play. The offense cant go 80 yards for a score on every drive.

Posted by: Nosebleed fan | Oct 16, 2011 8:40:50 PM

i have an idea for the panthers coaches...how bout give the ball to #34 adn #28 and stop throwing the damn ball 45x a game. while im not a panthers fan im a dieheart Steelers fan through and through but if you have to extremely talented and versatile backs and dont use them you will continue to lose because news flash, Cam Newton played this way in college and most of his plays he made in college was because he would outrun people not because he would outthrow them

Posted by: 412steelers all day | Oct 17, 2011 8:35:22 AM

I bet you were one of the fans that hated the 4 yds and a cloud of dust Foxball last year and complained because we didn't pass more.

Posted by: Black--Panther | Oct 18, 2011 12:57:25 AM

No lead is safe in the NFL, but that is even more true for the Panthers. I'm sure the offense feels like they need to score on every possession because the defense is allowing the other offense to do that. We have had leads heading into the 4th quarter in most of our games this year. When you allow teams to march down the field and score there isn't much you can do about it.

Posted by: Adam | Oct 19, 2011 10:37:38 AM

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