CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - What do you do after getting hammered 52-21 in your last game?
“We’re continuing to look at the film, but hitting the reset button at the same time,” said Carolina Panthers defensive end Wes Horton.
Watching the film because there were some things that went well for the team, but also watching to remind them that they have to clean up a lot of mistakes to prevent such a performance from happening again. You just can’t sweep it under the rug and forget it.
“It opens our eyes up just to be more accountable and doing your job as an individual,” said Panthers defensive end Kawann Short. “That’s what helps the team win.”
After having the last 4 days off, the Panthers got back to work on Tuesday and started prep work for their game at Detroit on Sunday.
But before practice, the team reviewed last Thursday’s contest with Pittsburgh? What went well for the Panthers?
Most of the positives came on the offensive side of the ball.
They came out and ran the ball well with running back Christian McCaffrey and took the early 7-01 lead. Quarterback Cam Newton completed 79% of his passes (23 of 29 completions) and threw for 2 touchdowns. His 8th straight game of at least 2 TD passes which is a franchise record.
The offense did turn the ball over twice including an interception returned for a touchdown so it wasn’t all good.
What about the defense? That unit gave up 45 of the 52 points. They allowed the Steelers to convert on 8 of 11 third downs and surrendered 138 yards on the ground.
Uncharacteristic of a Panthers defense that is 3rd in the league against the run.
Probably the most glaring issues on the defensive side is the lack of a pass rush at time.
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had a big night against the Panthers as he threw for 328 yards and 5 touchdown. He was only sacked once and had numerous passes completed for over 15 yards thanks in part to all the time he had in the pocket because of a lack of a pass rush from the Panthers.
“We can’t rely on a blitz,” said Horton. “It has to be the four guys down creating pressure, collapsing the pocket, and winning on the outside."
Here is where they insert the message of moving on.
“We have the guys to do it," said Horton. "We’re not letting it get to us to the point where we’re losing confidence.”
“We can’t panic and think this season is over because of what happened to us last week,” said Short. “Good football teams are made for bouncing back off those types of losses.”
“Our belief is strong,” said Panthers defensive coordinator Eric Washington. “We believe in who we are and what we are all about and we’re going to continue to pursue that."