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Panthers shocked to be 1-4, though Greg Olsen kind of called it

Tampa Bay Buccaneers players celebrate after Roberto Aguayo's game-winning kick against the Carolina Panthers in the second half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Monday, Oct. 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton) AP

All offseason, Panthers coach Ron Rivera and his cast of older, wiser players talked about the importance of forgetting last year.

As they reported to training camp, tight end Greg Olsen even warned of the danger of not focusing week-to-week, and said: “This is too hard to come out and just half-ass and find ourselves 1-4 asking, ‘What’s going on?’

As it turns out, Olsen was a prophet, and the Panthers are 1-4, and a lot of people are wondering “What’s going on?”

The Panthers went from 15-1 to 1-4 in a hurry, losing to the Buccaneers last night in embarrassing fashion — turning the ball over four times, letting an unheralded third-string runner (Jacquizz Rodgers) go for 101 rushing yards and a kicker who doesn’t make kicks (Roberto Aguayo) to hit the game-winner as time expired.

“We told you guys what happened the year before has nothing to do with this year,” Olsen said, via Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer. “We’ve been saying that since the day after the Super Bowl. That’s the reality of it. It’s unfortunate we had to learn it by being 1-4, but that’s the way this league goes.

“You’re not promised anything in this league. No one’s going to roll over because of what you’ve done in the past. You’ve got to earn everything. And right now we’re not earning anything.”

The Panthers were trying to right themselves without MVP Cam Newton, who was out with a concussion. Backup Derek Anderson threw two picks and fumbled, ruining the fact he found Olsen nine times for 181 yards. But trying to force one to him on a first-and-goal in the fourth quarter resulted in an interception, and their defense couldn’t stop the Bucs from driving.

Veteran defensive end Charles Johnson said it was “very shocking” to be 1-4 heading into New Orleans, but said the onus was on them.

“It’s going to take a lot of hard work and dedication. A lot of people are going to have to have a gut check,” Johnson said. “We’ve just got to put some wins together.”

Of course, there’s also a case of regression to the mean at work, as the 15-1 record last year only got them to 166-169-1 as a franchise, so swinging from a good year to seven wins is something Panthers fans are fairly accustomed to after 21 years in business.

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16 Responses to “Panthers shocked to be 1-4, though Greg Olsen kind of called it”
  1. switchwitch59 says: Oct 11, 2016 6:53 AM

    They also tied with the Jets for easiest schedule last year, 113W-143L. This year they have the 12th most difficult schedule, 131W-125L. So far their 2016 opponents have 42W-34L. If it makes them feel any better, Broncos have 14th most difficult schedule, 129W-127L.

  2. whatjusthapped says: Oct 11, 2016 7:19 AM

    Cam’s post game Superbowl behavior set the tone, they are just beginning to reap the consequences. I hope they go 1-15, dab that!

  3. grogansheroes says: Oct 11, 2016 7:28 AM

    can’t wait to see where PFT ranks the Panthers. Prolly about 6.

  4. ryanc2015 says: Oct 11, 2016 7:37 AM

    And everyone said it was the Broncos that would regress this year. Oops.

  5. pantherfan4life says: Oct 11, 2016 8:00 AM

    I guess I can start looking at the 2017 mock drafts now

  6. PFT-made-me-change-my-handle says: Oct 11, 2016 8:21 AM

    You mean last year’s MVP, Cam Newton.

  7. scorpiodsu says: Oct 11, 2016 8:21 AM

    And an Eagles fan living in Charlotte, I tried to tell some of the people down here that because you made the Super bowl last year has nothing to do this year. Trust me, I know first hand.

  8. tylawspick6 says: Oct 11, 2016 9:01 AM

    They’re a very immature team led by an immature QB.

    Hence, why they can’t handle being the hunted this year.

    Very predictable.

  9. skimbell says: Oct 11, 2016 9:11 AM

    That Super Bowl Curse thing sure seems to be in play more years than it isn’t.

  10. 700levelvet says: Oct 11, 2016 10:27 AM

    Some hangovers last awhile…Lol

  11. realqc says: Oct 11, 2016 10:28 AM

    Of course, losing your no. 1 corner, having a kicker miss clutch kicks, not improving last years weak offensive line, losing your starting LT, losing your no. 1 running back, your QB getting targeted in each game so far and missing a game may be worth factoring in.

    No excuses, but as a GM and coach, you need to evaluate all of the circumstances and find out how to turn it around.

  12. demskinsbaby says: Oct 11, 2016 10:41 AM

    Did the kool-aid run out? Don’t worry…cowboy fans have plenty left.

  13. domain7722 says: Oct 11, 2016 10:48 AM

    Cam Newton is the team.
    i’m sure rivera is a good coach, but Cam is the man. motivators are the key to great teams and great seasons, like the panthers last year.
    motivators like lewis in baltimore, lambert in pittsburgh, payton in chicago and brady in new england, were the difference.
    BUT it looks like the 70’s with the hits on Cam!
    so where is he now…..
    did they change the rules?

  14. idiedpretty says: Oct 11, 2016 10:51 AM

    Denver broke the Cats twice, back to back, and they ate Newton’s soul in the process. Tap out Carolina, the party is over

  15. Bl00dwerK says: Oct 11, 2016 10:57 AM

    SO glad they’re 1-4. Cam’s a punk and deserves this.

  16. laserw says: Oct 11, 2016 12:12 PM

    The Carolina Paper Tigers are exactly where I figured they’d be – having to play teams with winning records would reverse the faux improvement that they showed last year when they feasted on 13 losing record opponents.

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