Luke Kuechly says Panthers did not do their job against Saints

Carolina Panthers Linebacker Luke Kuechly says team did not do its job in loss to New Orleans Saints but still has time to regroup.
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Carolina Panthers Linebacker Luke Kuechly says team did not do its job in loss to New Orleans Saints but still has time to regroup.

Carolina Panthers

Carolina Panthers report card: OL, secondary, special teams, coaching all get blame

December 03, 2017 09:45 PM

Grading the Carolina Panthers for Sunday’s game at New Orleans.

B+ Quarterback: Cam Newton threw for 183 yards and two touchdowns and was the Panthers’ leading rusher with 51 yards on six carries. Newton underthrew Damiere Byrd on a fourth-quarter pass that should have been a touchdown.

C Running backs: Christian McCaffrey had a 21-yard catch-and-run for his fourth receiving TD of the season. But McCaffrey’s other four receptions netted only 12 yards. Jonathan Stewart averaged 4.1 yards a carry.

C Receivers: Devin Funchess didn’t catch a pass until late in the third quarter, and finished with four for 60 yards. There weren’t enough explosive pass plays facing a secondary that was missing top cornerback Marshon Lattimore.

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D Offensive line: Left tackle Matt Kalil had his hands full with Cameron Jordan. The DE didn’t have a sack, but that’s only because Kalil twice grabbed his facemask when he was getting beaten. The line’s run blocking was good early, not so much late.

C Defensive line: DE Mario Addison was productive vs. LT Andrus Peat, sacking Drew Brees once and hitting him two other times. DT Kyle Love also had a sack. But Julius Peppers had a costly penalty and the run defense was poor.

B Linebackers: Luke Kuechly had a game-high nine tackles (two for loss), a quarterback hit and a fumble recovery. Thomas Davis, who played sparingly because of a hamstring injury, only had two tackles.

D Secondary: Safety Kurt Coleman had a couple of critical missed tackles on Kamara – on a 18-yard gain and a 20-yard TD. Mike Adams forced a fumble with a “Peanut punch” on TE Josh Hill. Daryl Worley dropped a would-be INT.

F Special teams: Michael Palardy dropped the ball on a first-half punt, giving the Saints a short field they cashed in for a TD. He averaged only 43.0 yards on the ones he didn’t drop. A week after his punt return for a TD, Kaelin Clay fumbled on a fourth-quarter return.

D Coaching: Offensive coordinator Mike Shula did not call many running plays for Newton. Defensively, the Panthers allowed way too many explosive plays, especially in the run game. As a result, the Panthers’ NFC South hopes took a serious hit.

Joseph Person