The Carolina Panthers came out with low energy and poor execution on their first couple series on both sides of the ball to be down by 10 points very early in the first quarter and never recovered in a 27-14 home loss against the Buffalo Bills at Bank of America Stadium on this past Friday night.
It was announced an hour before kickoff that QB Cam Newton, TE Greg Olsen, RB Christian McCaffrey, LB Luke Kuechly and LB Shaq Thompson were sitting out this game to minimize unnecessary risks at this point during the preseason. This opened up opportunities for key rotational players and depth guys to make an impact. However, watching this game over again was bitter and head scratching as numerous fundamental mistakes repeated themselves. The remaining expected starters on offense and defense played the first three series yet could only muster a few good plays here and there as their on performance lacked intensity and effectiveness. This energy just seemed to carry over to the 2nd and 3rd units for the remainder of the game. All three phases of the team took their turns at disappointing the hometown crowd who had been eagerly awaiting a solid showing. The dominating playmaking that the Panthers had in the two joint practices leading up to this preseason game did not transfer over to the actual game.
Here are the typical statistical numbers from the game by ESPN:
|Passing 1st downs||12||9|
|Rushing 1st downs||6||5|
|1st downs from penalties||2||4|
|3rd down efficiency||6-13||2-13|
|4th down efficiency||0-0||1-2|
|Yards per Play||5.9||3.9|
|Yards per pass||8.7||3.4|
|Yards per rush||3.0||4.9|
|Red Zone (Made-Att)||2-4||1-2|
|Defensive / Special Teams TDs||1||0|