The Panthers went from the class of the NFC to one of the NFL's worst teams in a flash. - From FOXSports.com
The playoffs are out of the question now — only eight teams in NFL history have come back from a 1-4 start to make the postseason, and we haven’t seen anything from this team that signals a turnaround is imminent.
The decision to let Josh Norman walk into free agency for no return is looking like an all-time blunder — the Panthers have already released one starting cornerback this season, as the team’s pass defense is perhaps the worst in the NFL post-Norman.
The Buccaneers only passed the ball 30 times Monday, and while that might seem like a lot, it isn’t when you consider how poor the Panthers’ pass defense is and the fact that Tampa Bay ran the ball 37 times.
The Panthers used to have the best — or one of the best — defensive lines in football, but against an average-at-best Bucs front, the guys in the light-blue jerseys were getting manhandled at times.
That said, Cam Newton can come back and it won’t solve Carolina’s problems — that defense needs to get significantly better before next Sunday’s game against the Saints or their slim-to-none chance to make the playoffs — their bid to be the ninth team that overcame a 1-4 start to make the postseason — will completely extinguish.