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
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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.