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The Panthers had the benefit of starting the season with back-to-back home games, catching the Bucs on a short week, no less, yet they’re somehow staring down the dreaded 0-2 barrel to begin their 2019 campaign.
All of a sudden, there isn’t much room for error, with only 14 regular-season games remaining — the majority of which will take place on the road.
There were a number of issues the team dealt with in Thursday’s 20-14 loss to the Bucs, much of it stemming from the offense. The run game with Christian McCaffrey was nonexistent, raising questions about whether or not the team used him too much in Sunday’s Week 1 game against the Rams.
But the passing game was the real issue, especially as it related to protection, and also Cam Newton’s accuracy issues. Newton missed some throws, and was hit on a ton of his dropbacks. He took accountability for his play, though, in speaking to reporters after the game.
“It’s hard to look defensive guys in their eyes after a game like this, because offensively, we didn’t hold up our end of the bargain,” Newton said at his postgame press conference. “We just didn’t uphold our end and we’re past due. Special teams had a good return, defensively was stout all game, but all fingers are just pointing back to me specifically and our offense.”
“I didn’t get the job done tonight, and it’s frustrating. I wish I could say something other than that but that’s the facts,” Newton said.
It’s good to see Newton owning up to the problem, even though he was only a part of it. He’s well aware of the (0-2) hole the team is currently in, and knows the clock is ticking on fixing the issues.