The Panthers got a big win in Arizona in Week 10, but they crashed back to Earth at home on Sunday against Washington.
Washington racked up 190 rushing yards and controlled the ball for nearly 36 minutes in a 27-21 win that drops Carolina to 5-6 on the season. That has them among several teams trying to land one of the final playoff spots in the NFC, but head coach Matt Rhule made it clear on Monday that the team isn’t going to be in that mix for long if they keep playing that kind of defense.
“My message to the guys is, play great football and everything takes care of itself,” Rhule said, via Darin Gantt of the team’s website. “You can’t give up 190 yards rushing and say we’re still in the race. Good teams don’t give up 190 yards rushing. right? So let’s clean that up, let’s get the football right. It’s not about [Christian McCaffrey’s] back, [Cam Newton’s] back, it’s about a whole team. The whole team has to execute. It’s about all of us, and a sense of oneness where we play a lot better.”
The Dolphins are on tap for Week 12 and they have not had much success on the ground this season. If that changes against Carolina, it won’t bode well for any playoff hopes the Panthers may harbor for this season.