The Panthers defense and special teams had a great night against the Ravens.
Ted Ginn returned a punt for a touchdown and the defense scored three touchdowns to account for 28 of the team’s 34 points. As you would probably imagine, the offense wasn’t clicking on quite as many cylinders.
Coach Ron Rivera said that the offense had limited opportunities because of all the touchdown returns, but said that didn’t excuse them from averaging 3.5 yards per play when they were on the field. It also doesn’t excuse three sacks of quarterback Cam Newton nor several other missed blocks and dropped passes that left Newton lamenting his unit’s failure to hold up their end of things.
“When the defense plays like that, I feel like we let those guys down,” Newton said, via Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer.
The offense clearly needs to be better than they were on Thursday, but the issues didn’t just crop up against Baltimore. The starting offense hasn’t scored a touchdown since the opening quarter of the opening preseason game and there hasn’t been much dynamism on display at any point. Some of that could be explained by not wanting to show too many tricks in the preseason, but the questions about whether offensive coordinator Mike Shula is the right man to run the offense will linger until the team proves otherwise.