Kyle Allen

Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Sleepless In Carolina

Panthers Drop Fourth-Straight Game

Brett Jensen
December 01, 2019 - 6:57 pm


If Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper had a restless night of sleep following his team’s loss at home to Atlanta two weeks ago, then he should expect a major bout of insomnia over the next few days.

The season pretty much came to an end for the Panthers as they lost 29-21 in an embarrassing performance against the Washington Redskins at Bank of America Stadium Sunday.

Carolina falls to 5-7 on the season and has lost four straight. But what is most devastating for the Panthers is that they have now lost two in a row at home to two of the worst teams in the NFL.

Tepper said he absolutely despises to lose at home, which is why losing to Atlanta a couple of weeks ago caused him to wake up at least twice in the middle of the night.

This is going to cause Tepper to need some melatonin.

“I think everybody wants to win, (Tepper) included,” Carolina star linebacker Luke Kuechly said. “He wants to win just like we want to win, so moving forward we’re going to do our best to go out there and win games. And you ask anybody in this locker room and everybody’s vision is the same.”

Losing to Washington (3-9) may be unforgivable, especially considering just how badly Carolina played on offense and defense against a team that was in a real battle for the worst record in the NFL.

Many NFL prognosticators in the media are starting to wonder if Panthers head coach Ron Rivera will make to practice Monday as the team’s head coach or if Tepper will fire him following the game.

Without knowing Tepper’s temperament, it’s not known how he handles these types of things.

Does he have a quick trigger-finger or is he the type of person to let the situation play out? Will Tepper allow Rivera to coach through the end of the week, season or through next year, which is when Rivera’s contract comes to an end.

“I’m not worried about my future,” Rivera said. “I’m worried about this team’s future.”

Even as poorly as the Panthers played, they still had a chance to send the game into overtime in the closing seconds.

Carolina scored with 1:51 left to cut the lead to 8 points. It then secured the onside kick and preceded to get to the Redskins 1 on first-and-goal with about 45 seconds in the game.

Two runs lost a yard each, which was followed by an incomplete pass and a 27-yard scramble and eventual sack of quarterback Kyle Allen to turn the ball over on downs and end the game.

It was the fourth time this season Carolina had a chance to either tie or win the game in the closing seconds inside the 5-yard-line. All four times, the Panthers failed to get the score.

“I don’t think there’s a common denominator,” Allen said. “I just think that if there is one, it’s just making a play when it matters. You can make all the plays you want, but when you’ve got to make the one that matters, we’ve got to make them.”  

After Carolina scored touchdowns on its first two drives, the offense completely disappeared. Over their next nine possessions, which spanned roughly three quarters, the Panthers punted eight times and threw an interception, which led to a Washington touchdown.

From 3:09 left in the first quarter to 7:30 remaining in the fourth quarter, Carolina had nine possessions and had just 46 yards of total offense.

“I just felt like we kept taking turns making mistakes,” Allen said. “It’s just unacceptable.”

Defensively was just as bad – particularly the run defense.

Washington entered the game as arguably the worst rushing team in the NFL.

The Redskins ranked dead last rushing touchdowns with two; 30th in rushing attempts per game at 20.9; 27th in rushing yards per game at 85.9. Carolina handed them a cure for their running ills.

Washington ran 30 times for a whopping 248 yards and three touchdowns. Tailback Derrius Guice averaged 12.9 yards per carry for 129 yards, while Adrian Peterson averaged 7.6 yards per attempt on his way to 99 yards.

Carolina has given up more 10-yard runs than any other team.

Not helping matters is the fact that two starting defensive linemen are on injured reserve. Even so, defensive end Mario Addison said that doesn’t matter.

“Every guy’s here for a reason, but there is no excuse,” he said. “You’re here and you suit up, you gotta know your job.”

If the season continues to spiral downward, one has to wonder who will return next year to do their job.

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