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Carolina looks to discover what’s wrong
Panthers haven't a clue why they're 1-5
Published Monday, October 22, 2012 8:51 am
by Cheris F. Hodges, for The Charlotte Post


Carolina quarterback Cam Newton is taking suggestions for fixing what’s wrong with the Panthers.

Carolina quarterback Cam Newton (1) eludes the grasp of Dallas cornerback Brandon Carr as he heads downfield in the Cowboys' 19-14 win at Bank of America Stadium on Sunday. The Panthers dropped to 1-5 with the loss. their fourth straight.

He clearly doesn’t have any answers. 

The Panthers fell to 1-5 after a 19-14 loss to the Dallas Cowboys.  Newton, who led the team in rushing, said Carolina has the tools to be a better team. They just have to come together.

“You have to maximize each and every play because you never know when you’re going to need it,” he said. “Prime example, throwing an interception in the red zone. Can’t happen. It happened and it took points off the board. If we would’ve scored, who knows what would’ve happened.”

Against a sluggish Cowboys offense, it may have been the score that won the game for Carolina. Newton’s day was decent, completing 20 of 36 passes for 222 yards and one touchdown. He was the team’s leading rusher with 61 yards.

“Something is going to have to change real fast, to get that next step. It’s the same old thing,” he said.

Just like Carolina’s home loss to the Seattle Seahawks, they were in the game up until then end when penalties and questionable calls stalled their scoring chances.

“For us, I feel like the Carolina Panthers are in a situation where we find a way to keep the game close. Whether it’s me, I don’t know. Whether it’s (offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski ) I don’t know,” Newton said. “We’ve got to change that. I’m looking forward to a game where we put up 35 points, everybody does.”

Cornerback Josh Thomas said everyone needs to do their job. “We have to capitalize on opportunities,” he said.

“We have to play better overall,” wide receiver Steve Smith said before the bye week. “That’s the straight up answer. The only thing that’s acceptable is to play better.”

However, that message didn’t seem to translate of the field in Sunday’s loss.

But the opportunity to have a post season bid is slipping from the Panthers grip as they are last in the NFC South and travel to Chicago Sunday to play the Bears, who are 4-1 and trounced Jacksonville last week 41-3. The Bears play the Detroit Lions on Monday night.

On Sunday, New Orleans beat Tampa Bay, improving to 2-4. The Panthers lone victory this season came against the Saints.

“The tale of this game when we watch it on tape will be about missed opportunities,” said head coach Ron Rivera. “Nobody said it was going to be easy. It’s not. We know that. We’re going to continue to work at it and look to change some things and we’ll find solutions. We just have to keep pounding away.”

What the changes and solutions are, no one seems to have an answer.

“I’m going to leave this room and bring in a suggestion box and I want your suggestions to be in that box because I sure don’t know.” Newton said. “The only thing I can control is myself. Offensively, I am the leader of this bunch and we haven’t been getting the job done.”

Defensive end Thomas Keiser sums it perfectly. “Right now things are really bad. But we’re going to figure it out and we’re going to get better.”

Also: Carolina Panthers fire Marty Hurney



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