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Why Rhule still has a lot of faith in the Panthers
Oct 20, 2021, 3:28:00 AM

Why Rhule still has a lot of faith in the Panthers

Ever since the Carolina Panthers made a 3-0 start to the 2021-22 season, the team fell apart and have lost three straight games. Coach Matt Rhule believes that the team still has a chance to bounce back and get a strong run going to earn a playoff spot.

As star QB Sam Darnold continues to struggle in long stretches, the Panthers’ offence have seen a lot of woes in the season. Rhule did not even hold back in his comments about the star as he knows that the attack relies on Sam’s push in every game.

On top of that, the latest loss for the Panthers came with Sam’s struggles taking place again. Through three quarters, Darnold only made nine passes out of 24 tries with just 95 yards for a 32.5 passer rate. The only time that Sam had a lower halftime rating was 13.5 in Week 7 - which was in 2019 against the New England Patriots.

For Rhule, all of these have a root cause at the end of the day. The coach sees where it all went wrong and he is sure about it as well.

‘Sam's not playing well enough - let's just start there - which means that Sean (Ryan), Joe (Brady) and me are not coaching good enough’, the coach said. ‘We're 3-3. There are a lot of teams that are 3-3. I think it's just starkly clear in front of us what the issues are. We turned the ball over twice in our three wins’.

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The Panthers are yet to find a way to solve their woes. While most fans and critics would be quick to blame Sam for being inconsistent, the coach gets deeper on that note. Rhule says it was the rest of the offence that is to blame for their losses.

He did have a comeback in the fourth when he made eight of his 17 passes for 112 yards and a TD to force extra time, but their defence could not hold on and gave up a TD on the first drive of overtime.

‘Now when I say “Sam's not playing well”, what does that mean? That means the offensive line isn't getting it done for him, it means the running backs aren't getting it done for him’, Rhule said. ‘Everyone on offense, every receiver, every tight end, every back, every O-lineman, their job is to help our quarterback play well’.

The Panthers need to find a way to get back to their winning pace and somehow pull their standings back up top. That is a big task that the team needs to complete if they want to stay alive in the 2021-22 season. Their chances are getting slim one week after week which is not a good note for the team.

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Words: Paul Daniel Flores

Image: PA