Carolina Panthers: Offense remains bright spot as losing streak continues

Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images
Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images /

The Carolina Panthers offense has continued to perform well, even though the team has dropped five-straight games and fallen out of the playoff race.

It’s hard to find the silver lining in the fact that the Carolina Panthers have dropped five-straight games. It’s perhaps even more painful with the easily realization that four of these losses were winnable up until the last moments.

Turning around those games would put the Panthers at the forefront of postseason conversations instead of solidly on the outside looking in. Even with those struggles, there are some positive points around how this team is playing and all of that is firmly on the offensive side of the ball.

To say that frustration is mounting within the Panthers locker room would be an understatement. Heading into last Sunday’s 26-20 defeat to the Cleveland Browns, head coach Ron Rivera was already facing pressing questions about the security of his job. Those questions will not stop with the team’s hopes of making a 2018 playoff run taking another hit in the chest.

"“I said it time and time again, it’s frustrating,” Thomas Davis said, as reported by David Newton of ESPN. “To be in the position we are in, understanding and knowing the talent we have, understanding the time and effort and energy the coaches put in coming up with the game plan, for us to be in this position, it sucks.”"

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But when you focus on the offensive play, everything about the Panthers doesn’t in fact suck. Carolina’s Week 14 game marked the first time since the opening of this season that Cam Newton didn’t have at least two touchdown passes.

He’s having a career year from a completion percentage standpoint, as he’s completed 68.8 percent of his passes to date. Plus, his touchdown to interception ratio is at a high point that he hasn’t seen, outside of the MVP season he put together in 2015. Newton is playing exceptionally well more so than the opposite, but it seems like all of that is going to waste as the team continues its downward spiral.

Plus, there are weapons around Newton that are continuing to have a strong year. The young talent in Christian McCaffrey, D.J. Moore, Curtis Samuel and Devin Funchess may not carry big name cache, but they are putting up numbers that continue to give this unit an offensive boost.

This is a youthful group that is showing it can perform at a high level under current leadership. And in many ways, their continued high performance may lead to a new assignment of leadership if things do not change soon.

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With three games left in the 2018 season, the Panthers playoff hopes are hanging by a thread. With a 6-7 record, this organization has never experienced what it is to end back-to-back seasons with a winning record. If that occurs again there’s a good chance that Rivera is out of his job. But that could lead to offensive coordinator Norv Turner taking over the leadership position.

If you were to look at how the offensive unit is playing at this point in the season, this is change that some may support based on statistical output alone.