Defense needs to limit the explosive plays
This is nothing new for the Carolina Panthers defense as the inability to stop the big plays has been a storyline all season. This weakness was on full display today against the Packers, who were able to hit a number of big plays against Carolina.
Aaron Rodgers only threw for 255 yards however 40% of those yards came on only two throws (a 59-yard touchdown to Jordy Nelson and a 47-yard reception by Randall Cobb). The team wasn’t much better defending the run giving up an average of 5.1 yards per carry and allowed at least three runs of 10+ yards.
These types of plays are demoralizers for defenses and have been a big reason why the opposition is putting up such huge numbers on Carolina.
The Panthers will have to win games in spite of their defense
This game marks the fifth straight week that the Carolina Panthers have given up 30+ points to the opposition. Needless to say, the Panthers defense is not good and this quick fall from grace is rather surprising.
Last season, the Panthers gave up over 30 points only once and were one of the best in the league, particularly at getting to the quarterback and forcing turnovers. This year, the defense ranks fourth in the NFL in forcing turnovers but not having Greg Hardy on the field has made the pass rush almost non-existent.
This has allowed opposing quarterbacks to pick apart the Panthers and their secondary. Aaron Rodgers against the Panthers today had one more incompletion (4) as he did touchdowns (3). The defensive coaching staff is going to have to find a way to get to the quarterback to help protect their secondary.
The offensive line needs a healthy Trai Turner
Before the game even started, the Panthers knew they would be without starting left guard Amini Silatolu but then lost Byron Bell and Trai Turner during the course of the game today. The biggest loss though may be Turner.
Ever since the rookie guard became a full-time starter against Chicago in Week 5, the offensive line looked much better. This week against Green Bay, the offensive line looked overwhelmed by Green Bay’s front seven and was due in large part to all the injuries suffered to this unit. This is not good for the Panthers offense and they will need all the help they can get with the Seattle Seahawks coming to town next week.