Charlotte, NC — In what was practically the start of the playoffs for the Carolina Panthers per coach Miller last week, the offense came out with a whimper while the defense did all it could to give this team a chance to win the game.
It looked like it was going to be a long day for the defense when on the first play of their first drive, the Minnesota Vikings got a 35 yard gain to WR Stefon Diggs, the defense ultimately was able to hold them for a field goal.
The Panthers offense was finally able to put a touchdown on the board when Cam Newton saw an opportunity to exploit a deep zone look and took it upon himself to run it in. Unfortunately that was practically it as the offense was only able to put up 3 more points for the rest of the game.
The offense struggled drive after drive, failing to convert key third downs they ended 2-7 for an abysmal 26.8% conversion rate on third down, none bigger then in the 4th quarter. With a tied ball game the defense held the Vikings forcing them to punt, setting up the offense for a chance to take the lead. This is where Carolina’s WR Christian McCaffrey injury would really be felt. Cam had an open Jonathan Stewart out in the flats, he threw a strike that hit Stewart right in the hands and he dropped it! “I have to make that catch, I’ve made that catch hundreds of times, I cant believe I dropped that one” a dejected Stewart had to say. With two minutes left to go they would end up punting it away, and that was the last time the offense saw the ball.
The Vikings drove all the way down to kick the game winning field goal as time expired. With that loss it puts the Panthers in a must win from here on out and they will need A LOT of help if they are to sneak into the playoffs. They’ll need Cam to put on his superman outfit once more and try to save the season.