CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The sign of a young team that is improving is one that gets better each and every week. The Carolina Panthers showed that in week 3 at the Los Angeles Chargers and now they must do it again in week 4 as they host the Arizona Cardinals.
Before last week’s game with the Chargers, the Panthers were the only team in the NFL without a sack. The first series the defense was on the field, Marquis Haynes registered a sack as the team finished the game with 2 and also had 19 quarterback hurries.
“I can see that carrying over to Arizona because that’s something we put on film,” said Panthers cornerback Donte Jackson. “We obviously know we can do it."
The big issue this week will be improving in the red zone.
Last Sunday, the Panthers got into the red zone 6 times, but only came away with one touchdown and 5 field goals. They got away with it, but normally, that is a recipe for disaster.
How do they fix it?
“I think the biggest thing is just converting 3rd downs,” said Panthers quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. “You look at the 3rd down numbers from Sunday, most of those times that we failed was in the red zone. So if we can convert 3rd downs in the red zone, that’ll help our chances to score. If we call a run on 3rd down, we need to be able to line up and run the ball. If we call a pass in the red zone, we have to convert and then give ourselves another chance to score a touchdown.”
“I think running down in the red zone is really on the offensive line," said Panthers offensive lineman Chris Reed. “We can’t have mental errors and we really have to sustain those blocks and be very physical. I think that is something that can be improved upon.”
The Panthers certainly missed the dynamic plays that running back Christian McCaffrey can bring in the the red zone, but he is out at least 2 more weeks so the improvements will have to come without their best offensive weapon.