CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Rick Bonnell/The Charlotte Observer) - If a play epitomizes this Carolina Panthers’ season, it must be Chris Carson’s fourth-quarter touchdown.
The Seattle Seahawks went for it on fourth-and-1, and Carson not only got the first down, but dragged multiple Panthers defenders 5 yards into the end zone. The Panthers can’t stop the run, can’t hold onto the ball, can’t win lately.
Grading the Panthers in another Sunday loss:
F: Kyle Allen’s first-half interception, throwing into double coverage and being picked off by Pro Bowl linebacker Bobby Wagner, is consistent with the pattern of costly mistakes Allen has made. He’s under a lot of duress behind an offensive line that doesn’t protect well, but his miscues aren’t balanced off enough by big plays lately. The second interception isn’t on Allen — it was tipped by up-the-middle rush — but the third one never should have been thrown with Allen about to be sacked. He made a bad situation worse.
C: Getting wide receivers Curtis Samuel and D.J. Moore involved in the running game in a variety of ways, including direct snaps, is a good idea that was executed too late to be of consequence this season. Christian McCaffery crossing 2,000 yards in total yards reflects a player excelling at everything in a running back’s job description.
F: The disorganization in the Panthers’ secondary on Tyler Lockett’s first-half touchdown catch was epic. Cornerback Donte Jackson kept getting burned a week after calling out his coaches following the loss to the Atlanta Falcons. At least safety Tre Boston came up with an interception in the third quarter.
F: It’s nothing new that the Panthers defense is bad against the run, but the Seahawks’ first drive sharpened the point: When a defense is constantly in second-and-short yardage, it gives up far too many choices to the opposing team’s play-caller. That Seattle touchdown, in a fourth-and-1 situation, epitomizes the Panthers’ ineptitude at the point of attack.
D: Joey Slye’s seventh field goal from 50 or more yards was a Panthers season record. But Slye’s leg strength hasn’t been the issue, it has been accuracy, even on extra points. A Ross Cockrell block-in-the-back was particularly ill-timed late in the first half.