It wasn’t that long ago that the Panthers were a team defined by their defense.
But that side of the ball is dragging them down now.
Bill Voth of Black and Blue Review points out the sordid facts about a terrible defense, which has allowed at least 37 points in four of their last five games.
They’ve given up 195 points through seven games, after giving up just 241 all of last season.
“We can’t keep sitting around and waiting on things to happen,” linebacker Thomas Davis said. “As a defense, we’ve got to go out and make things happen. Until we do that, this outcome is going to continue to be like this.”
Quarterbacks in particular are having a field day against their soft secondary,
The last five quarterbacks they’ve played (Ben Roethlisberger, Joe Flacco, Jay Cutler, Andy Dalton and Aaron Rodgers) have completed 76.5 percent of their passes (124-of-162 for 1,390 yards with 12 touchdowns and four interceptions), for a passer rating of 116.0.
That’s ridiculous, but somewhat predictable.
The Panthers had an odd cast of defensive backs last year, but they also had Greg Hardy getting 15.0 sacks to make the job of coverage easier. Without that pressure, players are being exposed (notably but not limited to safety Roman Harper and safety-turned-nickel corner Charles Godfrey).
Now, with Hardy awaiting trial on domestic violence charges and on the commissioner’s exempt list — and the money he’s soaking up unavailable to buy reinforcements — the Panthers aren’t stopping anybody.