CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has extra weapons round him than at any level in his profession. The 2015 NFL MVP and the offense gained’t be restricted due to Newton’s offseason shoulder surgical procedure and a preseason ankle damage. The offense will probably be explosive.

These had been issues written and stated popping out of coaching camp.

None have come to fruition, and due to that the Panthers’ season is on the point of catastrophe after 20-14 prime-time loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and an Zero-2 begin.

The Bucs got here out with a defensive method different groups are certain to comply with. Strain Newton with blitzes, don’t fear about him as a menace to expire of the zone-read and gang up on working again Christian McCaffrey.

It labored fantastically. Newton was Zero-for-10 beneath duress with three sacks and at one level within the fourth quarter the offense had a complete of 30 yards on 19 performs inside Buccaneers territory, with 13 of these performs going for zero or detrimental yards.

“A scarcity of execution offensively,” Newton stated when requested what went improper. “By means of my lens, it’s onerous to look defensive guys within the eyes after a sport like this. Offensively, we didn’t maintain up our finish of the cut price.”

McCaffrey, who had 53 whole yards, was stopped a fourth-and-1 from the 2-yard line with 1 minute, 21 seconds remaining, ending the Panthers’ hopes. Every week after wanting like the very best again within the league, he was a non-factor.

“That’s the issues that’s most irritating, having the expertise and talent set now we have and never placing up one landing,” Newton stated. “That’s simply unlucky. It begins with me. I’ve bought to be higher man. I’ve bought to be higher.”

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If this development continues the Panthers gained’t be an element as a playoff contender.

Cam Newton, Panthers beneath duress with Zero-2 begin after loss to BucsCam Newton and the Panthers managed solely 4 discipline objectives towards the Buccaneers. AP Picture/Brian Blanco

Purchase breakout efficiency: Kicker Joey Slye, nicknamed “Swole Tweeter” by Newton, was speculated to be a heat physique to provide Graham Gano’s sore plant leg a relaxation in coaching camp. He’s now the beginning kicker and proving to be an excellent one. He had two discipline objectives within the opener and related on 4 towards Tampa Bay, together with a 54-yarder to finish the primary half. That the kicker is being written about right here says loads.

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Troubling development: Gradual begins. The Panthers haven’t scored a landing within the first half of both sport and have trailed in each. They’ve 4 discipline objectives within the first two quarters and have been outscored 23-12. They’re lucky it’s not worse.

QB breakdown: Newton stated the deep ball was in his arsenal after trying one move (a 26-yard incompletion) and having no completions of longer than 17 yards within the opener. He proved that with a 44-yard completion to Curtis Samuel within the first quarter during which the ball traveled 38 yard. That was his longest since a completion to Devin Funchess within the final sport of the 2017 season went 42 yards. However Newton, who completed 25-of-51 for 333 yards with no TDs and no INTs, wasn’t part of the working sport within the read-option, carrying twice for no yards every week after having a career-low minus two yards on three carries. Dreadful for the quarterback with extra speeding yards than some other since 2011. This left McCaffrey a sitting duck and rendered the offense defenseless.

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Silver lining: The final time the Panthers began Zero-2 was 2013. They went on to a 1-Three begin earlier than reeling off eight straight wins to complete the common season 12-Four and NFC South champs.