While the season is still fairly young, the Carolina Panthers have not fared well on the road; going 0-2 against two very beatable teams in the Falcons and the Redskins. This week’s road trip won’t be any easier as the Panthers head to Philadelphia to face the reigning Super Bowl champions.
But Panthers fans need to hold off on pressing the panic button; at least according to quarterback Cam Newton. “I feel like a lot of teams with a microscope point of view, really focusing on each and every detail of what they do, rather than the telescope point of view. Everybody wants to make it to the Super Bowl. Everybody wants to make it to the playoffs. Everybody wants to win the division. We kinda got caught up in that last week but you know our thing is focusing and honing in on each and every game and play.”
The Panthers lack of downfield passing was brought up several times this week as Newton, Head Coach Ron Rivera, and Offensive Coordinator Norv Turner spoke with media. When asked if there are one or two areas where deep pass attempts have broken down, Turner made the following comments:
“We’ve had two or three times where we’ve had guys running free and Cam threw it somewhere else. We’ve had a couple times where he didn’t have time to get the ball off and we’ve had a couple that he just missed.”
“We need to make explosive plays and the ball doesn’t have to travel 50 yards.”
Turner also discussed Newton needing time and spacing for an aerial game to develop and acknowledged that the offensive line has its work cut out for them as they prepare to face a tough Eagles defense. Although the offensive line was a huge question mark at the onset of the season due to injuries, Turner feels the unit has done a good job and that Newton has as well, stating that the team would be in a worse position if QB1 wasn’t doing such a good job of getting the ball out of his hands in a timely fashion.
Newton’s take: The team takes what the defense gives.
“We just want to execute. That’s it.” “We can’t just go down and just chuck the football.” “That’s not what good teams or offenses do.”
Newton went on to say that it’s his job to execute the plays Turner calls.
For what its worth, the long ball is not the only area the Panthers need to approve upon in order to exit Lincoln Financial Field with a win. The run game was nonexistent in both road losses and will be essential in establishing play action.
Kickoff is scheduled for 1pm EST on Sunday.