Grading Carolina Panthers in yet another loss, this time to Seattle Seahawks

Grading Carolina Panthers in yet another loss, this time to Seattle Seahawks
Carolina Panthers outside linebacker Shaq Thompson (54) brings down Seattle Seahawks running back Chris Carson (32) during the first half at Bank of America Stadium on Sunday, December 15, 2019. DAVID T. FOSTER III DTFOSTER@CHARLOTTEOBSERVER.COM (Source: DAVID T. FOSTER III DTFOSTER@CHARLOTTEOBSERVER.COM)

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:

PASSING OFFENSE

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.

RUSHING OFFENSE

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.

PASSING DEFENSE

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.

RUSHING DEFENSE

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.

SPECIAL TEAMS

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.

COACHING

D: Defensive lineman Gerald McCoy’s offsides negated what would have been a big turnover. That might be an individual mistake, but a series of those on this roster adds up to poor discipline at the worst of times. The Panthers’ plunge in the second half of the season is about more than injuries.