The Redskins' early promise has quickly evaporated, and the problems that always threatened to undermine their season have become more and more apparent.
There were not enough big plays from the quarterback position, and the offensive line continued to act like a revolving door.
Defensively, the team's insistence on gambling with heavy man pressures, failed to contain star rookie Cam Newton and again left the Redskins vulnerable to the big play.
Here are the grades for each unit after Week 7.
John Beck failed to make enough big plays when it mattered most to help the Redskins convert drives into points.
Beck produced decent numbers, throwing for 279 yards and a score. He was victimised late on when Panthers ball hawk Chris Gamble picked off a late pass.
Beck also surrendered possession on a first quarter fumble after he failed to hold onto the ball following a sack.
Beck looked sharp at times, but missed some throws he should have made on other occasions. This kind of uneven performance is expected from a player making his first start of the year.
Beck must show more comfort with the offense next time out, and the Redskins need to do more to protect and assist their unproven quarterback.
The Redskins' porous offensive line allowed too many free rushers to get pressure on Beck, as the unit once again struggled mightily in pass protection.
The Panthers' previously soft defense recorded three sacks and numerous hits on the quarterback. The edges of the line continue to be a major cause for concern.
Jammal Brown's difficulty handling speed-rushers persists, and led to Antwan Applewhite sacking Beck and forcing a critical turnover.
The front five did create some decent lanes in the running game, which were not always fully exploited by Washington's backfield.
Tim Hightower performed capably, rushing for 88 yards on 17 carries. But the running game remains frustratingly inconsistent.
The ground game was not helped by the lack of support given to Hightower. Ryan Torain and Roy Helu combined for minus-six yards from three attempts.
The Redskins must find a way to add more spark to their rushing attack and allow the running game to lead the offense.
Identifying and keeping a recognised starter healthy would be an important first step.
The Redskins wideouts suffered their least convincing performance of the season so far. The group didn't produce enough big plays and failed to provide Beck with a regular and reliable outlet.
Jabar Gaffney led the way with four grabs for 68 yards, but he gave up a crucial second-quarter fumble. Santana Moss started brightly, but just as quickly faded from the game.
Anthony Armstrong, Donte Stallworth and Leonard Hankerson continue to be non-factors in the passing game, and one or more of this trio must step up soon.
Youngsters Terrence Austin and Niles Paul made some nice receptions, probably due to Beck's greater familiarity and comfort level with the backup players.
Fred Davis continued to be the most dangerous player on the Redskins offense. Davis hauled in six catches for 80 yards and a touchdown.
He was always a threat in the middle of the Panthers defense, and the Redskins used him well. Davis also received decent support from Logan Paulsen.
Previously only thought of as a blocker, Paulsen chipped in with two receptions for 48 yards and demonstrated some nice ability to stretch the field in the Redskins offense.
The Redskins' front three was another unit which failed to make enough big plays as the game wore on. The group was too soft against the run and did not generate a consistent and strong enough push.
There were some positives, most notably Adam Carriker's 1.5-sack performance. But fellow defensive end Stephen Bowen is still struggling to establish himself as a true force in Washington's scheme.
Nose tackle Barry Cofield also had a quiet game and did not disrupt the pocket as much as he needs to.
The linebackers were certainly given plenty of work in this game and were not always helped by the line's inability to consistently move the pocket.
Brian Orakpo led the way, notching five tackles and a sack. Orkapo was a regular threat off the edge, while inside men London Fletcher and Rocky McIntosh produced a solid effort patrolling the middle.
Fletcher and McIntosh were relatively successful keeping Panthers tight ends Jeremy Shockey and Greg Olsen quiet, although they struggled occasionally to handle Shockey.
Rookie Ryan Kerrigan was ineffective and needs to pick up his game and maintain the high standards he set during the first few weeks of the season.
Along with the lack of a consistent push up front, the inept play of the Redskins' defensive backs was the main reason for the defeat.
The secondary struggled in coverage all day, and Newton picked them apart, missing on only five throws and going without an interception.
Josh Wilson was routinely victimised by Carolina's veteran speedster, Steve Smith. Smith torched Wilson on his way to a seven-reception, 143-yard day.
Wilson was not helped by the poor play of the Redskins safeties. Reed Doughty and LaRon Landry were both found wanting in coverage.
The secondary as a whole suffered from being left isolated too often. Without consistent pressure in his face and a comfortable pocket to throw from, Newton easily exploited the gaps.
Graham Gano didn't miss a kick and made an impressive 49-yard field goal in the second quarter. Gano is showing real improvement, in both leg strength and accuracy this season.
Brandon Banks produced a good looking 25-yard return and showed signs that he may be getting back to his best.
The coverage units did a good job of containing the Panthers' return game. The only downside was that the unit failed to block a single kick.
Veteran Olindo Mare was able to boot four field goals and three extra points without any trouble, and the Redskins didn't get near three Carolina punts.
The Redskins' once-promising looking season threatens to be derailed altogether. Both sides of the ball are surrendering too many big plays and are failing to make enough of their own.
Mike Shanahan has a lot of work to do to improve the efficiency of each unit of the team before next week's tricky looking trip to Buffalo.