Sometimes, it’s amusing to see other teams struggle. Maybe not to the level the Panthers have, but there’s some relief knowing another team and their fan base are feeling the same turmoil Houston Texans fans are all too accustomed to.
The 0-6 Carolina Panthers have not had the start of the season they expected. A team doesn’t go winless unless there’s distressing issues on both sides of the ball. Panthers defense are worst in the league in turnovers and points allowed. The offense has allowed 19 sacks and are in the bottom third in yards and points per game. Their struggles are well documented by the The Cat Scratch Reader in their article “The Carolina Panthers are the worst team in the National Football League”
Both the offense and the defense for the Carolina Panthers has failed them at multiple points in every game. It turns out that there isn’t one quick fix in front of the team to transform them from a joke to a contender. Everything is bad. And these numbers have been generated against what appears to be an average sampling of NFL teams. Their opponents are 23-17, a flat .500 against other teams. Surely, the Detroit Lions and Miami Dolphins are good teams, but the Panthers lost just as much to the New Orleans Saints and the Minnesota Vikings.
The Panthers are nearly half way through their sixth consecutive, long year of losing. They have had a losing record in 19 of their 29 seasons. This season is threatening to be the worst yet. Fan confidence has hardly ever been lower and many of y’all are beyond ready to see changes made at the top.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see a fan-led effort to buy the team from David Tepper and take it public motivated as much by a desire to remove him from the Panthers as it was by a desire for fans to have some ownership over their team.
While the doom and gloom is fair, the Panthers aren’t to be overlooked. Their offense is capable of putting up points - not a lot of points - but points nevertheless. They were up 14-0 on the Miami Dolphins before their defensed conceded 42 points.
Adam Thielen is having a remarkable comeback season after being phased out of the Minnesota Vikings offense. The thirty-three year old receiver is seventh in the league in receptions, 13th in receiving yards, T-8th in TDs with four, and fourth in catch percentage. They also have D.J. Chark and Jonathan Mingo who can cause problems when their offense is clicking.
The Panthers lead running back Miles Sanders has been hurt and missed last week. Sanders headed down the east coast this offseason after helping the Eagles to the Super Bowl. Chuba Hubbard has been dynamic in his stead and arguably making their backfield a committee.
Carolina’s defense has been decimated with injuries. At least four starters are out and their secondary is completely hurt. They’ll have to rely on rookies for Sunday’s game and hopefully C.J. Stroud will be able to cook their defense. The best thing they have going for them is when Brian Burns is given the green light. He has four sacks so far and has been just about the only redeemable part of their defense.
There isn't much to be excited about in Charlotte, but after a full bye week to regroup the Panthers have the chance to steal their first win of the season against a Houston team revving up as a franchise. Houston is projected to win this game for what feels like the first time in years. This may not be the most highly anticipated game of the season, but it could give the chance for the Texans to have a winning record since being 1-0 in 2021.