Game on the line. Opponent pinned on their own 1-yard-line. They have no timeouts left and less than a minute on the clock. And they’re down by two. No chance they pull this out, right?
There has been a lot of discussion in the wake of Carolina’s heartbreaking 30-28 loss to the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.
From Cam Newton’s inopportune fumble after fighting for a first down that would have sealed the game to Head Coach Ron Rivera’s decision to punt on the ensuing 4th-and-1, there has been no shortage of finger pointing by fans and analysts alike.
For all the blame games that are being played by the Carolina faithful in the wake of such a painful loss to a division rival, perhaps the most overlooked factor in the Panthers’ downfall is the defense.
Through the first four weeks of the season a defense that was expected to be much improved with the return of linebackers Jon Beason and Thomas Davis has been nothing more than average and nothing less than terrible.
The lackluster performance of Carolina’s defensive unit has led to speculation that there will be some personnel changes to the starting lineup, most notably at the free safety position.
Let’s take a look at some of the Panthers defensive position groups and see how they fared against Atlanta.