The Panthers have now dropped to 1-8 with their 31-16 loss to Tampa Bay Sunday in Tampa. The Bucs, now 6-3, only won three games a year ago, and they are the model for where Carolina would like to be in 2011. For now, though, it's time for the traditional "5 things I didn't like" after a Carolina loss.
(You may not remember that I also write a "5 things I did like" blog after every Panther win -- that just hasn't come up much this season).
1) Touchdown anemia. The Panthers have now scored only nine TDs in nine games (Sunday's was by Josh Vaughan). No one else in the NFL is close to that bad -- entering Sunday's games, the Dolphins' 12 TDs was second-worst.
2) Defensive letdowns. For once, it was the Panthers' defense that really messed this game up. The Panthers allowed 421 yards, made Josh Freeman (134.2 QB rating) look like a Pro Bowler and gave up a 45-yard touchdown run on third-and-10 late in the fourth quarter to seal the loss.
3) Jason Baker. Carolina's reliable punter for once really had an off game. He had five punts, none longer than 35 yards, and had a net average of only 30.6.
4) Tight-end coverage. The Panthers D seems very susceptible to good tight ends, and that was certainly the case Sunday. Kellen Winslow had six catches for 65 yards and a TD, and second-string TE John Gilmore had three catches for 52 more.
5) Quarterback sneaks. Not that it would have done much other than make the final score more palatable, but two QB sneaks from Jimmy Clausen on the last 2 plays?! Really? Tampa Bay, not surprisingly, knocked Clausen backwards.
6 months ago