Three takeaways from the Carolina Panthers’ 28-10 loss to the New Orleans Saints:
Still no solution to red zone woes
Aside from Cam Newton’s improvised, and impressive, touchdown run, the Panthers couldn’t find the end zone. Kelvin Benjamin had a drop in the end zone on one drive, and Newton targeted him twice without success on a fourth-quarter scoring opportunity that could have cut the lead to seven.
Injuries are too much for offensive line
With four of the five starters on the Panthers’ makeshift offensive line being undrafted out of college, the group predictably struggled. A sack inside the Panthers’ 5 led to a fumble and, two plays later, the Saints’ first touchdown. Newton seemed to rush his throws all night.
The NFC South race isn’t over
The Panthers gave themselves a difficult path to the playoffs by falling to 3-5-1 with a trip to New Orleans still to come, but it’s not impossible. Carolina needs to win and get help. The Saints have a difficult stretch coming up, with games against San Francisco, Cincinnati and Baltimore and at Pittsburgh in November.