The Carolina Panthers lost another close game on Thursday night, falling 25-17 to the Atlanta Falcons, now making it three-straight losses.
Chris McClain and T-Bone put together the good and the bad takeaways from the game.
The Good (T-Bone):
1) Despite Christian McCaffrey missing his sixth straight game, the Panthers still managed to churn out 147 yards on the ground for 6.7 yards per carry
2) Jeremy Chinn continues to be one of the Panthers best defensive rookies ever. He took a fake punt 28 yards for a 1st down. Matt Rhule called the fake off but Chinn recognized the edge wasn’t sealed and did the fake on his own
3) Curtis Samuel continues to shine in his jack of all trades role accounting for two more touchdowns.
4) The execution at 1/3 wasn’t great but loved the aggressiveness of the Panthers going for it on 4th down and taking chances. Execution of the aggressiveness will lead to winning football in time
The Bad (Mac)
1) Handling of the Atlanta blitz- Deion Jones and other Falcon blitzes tormented Teddy all night and the O-line didn't do much about it. Matt Paradis and Chris Reed had especially hard times. Reed even scored an absurdly low Pro Football Focus grade of 9.4 out of 100 for his effort.
2) Another end of game failure- Yes, I know its the start of a rebuild and wins and losses aren't the best way to judge this team, but the trend of failing late-game drives is frustrating. It was the Panthers fourth one-score loss and in all of those, the Cats had the ball with a chance to take the lead or tie it late and failed.
3) Third down penalties- Three times the Panthers made plays to get off the field on third down, only to have penalties in the secondary allow Atlanta to extend the drive and go down and score points. Myles Hartsfield, Sam Franklin and Troy Pride were the offenders. Which leads me to....
4) Injuries in the secondary- The only reason so many young guys played last night at DB for Carolina is the rash of secondary injuries. Justin Burris and Rasul Douglas were out. Donte Jackson left the game. And, Eli Apple was cut two days before the game. That made this group easy pickings at times for Matt Ryan and Julio Jones.