Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 11/3/14
The Panthers opened their season with a tough 12-7 loss to Seattle. We break down every unit and see how they did. There is plenty of finger pointing to go around  Quarterbacks: A- Analysis: Even though Cam Newton threw for a season low 125 yards, Newton made very good decisions and made some tough throws down the stretch. He was even able to convert some key third downs with his legs when the team needed him to. It was a great first performance for Newton and one the team will expect from him as the season goes along. Running Backs: B- Analysis: We all knew DeAngelo Williams would have to step up with his game with Jonathan Stewart sidelined. For most of the game he did just that. Williams was able to average 5 yards a carry and gave the Panthers great balance on offense while also keeping the stout Seattle defense honest. The one huge downside was of course his fourth quarter fumble in the red zone with 5 minutes to go. The fumble was definitely a game changer as the Panthers never saw the ball again. Wide Receivers: B Analysis: This group was hard to give a grade to simply because the offense didn’t target very many of them. Outside of Steve Smith and tight end Greg Olsen, Carolina struggled to get other receivers involved. Brandon Lafell, the supposed number two receiver, was only targeted twice the entire game and finished with zero receptions. Free agent Ted Ginn only had 1 reception for 10 yards. The unit did have a few drops, but also provided the offense yards after contact to keep the chains moving. Look for the Panthers to try and get the other receivers more involved in the offense next week. They’re too talented not to. [Carolina Panthers: What they're saying after a week 1 loss] Offensive Line: B- Analysis: Given the relative inexperience of the line, the unit performed very well. Cam Newton was only sacked once and didn’t even have to rush many of his throws. The line also created holes for DeAngelo Williams which gave the offense a huge boost when they started struggling through the air. The team suffered a huge blow when it was announced veteran right guard Garry Williams would miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL and MCL. Look for newly acquired lineman Travelle Wharton, to see an increase in snaps. Defensive Line: A Analysis: You have to give Panthers General Manager Dave Gettleman credit. Gettleman, wanted to create a dominate defense and used the first two draft picks on Star Lotulelei and Kawann Short to help shore up a strong front seven. On Sunday the front seven showed it was as good as advertised. The line did an excellent job of containing Wilson in the pocket and slowing down the rushing attack led by Marshawn Lynch. The D-Line held Lynch to a career low, 43 rushing yards. Minus the Frank Alexander ejection, the unit was a huge bright spot for the Panthers. Linebackers: B Analysis: Panther fans finally got a chance to see the linebacker corps healthy. Luke Kuechly, Jon Beason, and Thomas Davis combined for 23 tackles Sunday. Simply put when the unit is healthy, it can be the best in the league. The game against Seattle marks the first time since 2010 that Carolina has had all three linebackers healthy. Secondary: C- Analysis: The secondary at times was very good, but they were also very bad at times. The team allowed 320 passing yards, a career high for Russell Wilson. Josh Thomas in particular had a tough day. He was targeted two plays in a row on deep bombs with one resulting in the go ahead touchdown for Seattle. In a tight game like Sunday’s, every mistake is magnified and that definitely was the case in this contest. Coaching: C+ Analysis: By now Carolina Panthers fans know that losing close games like this one is the norm under Ron Rivera. On offense, new offensive coordinator Mike Shula called the plays like he did during the preseason: very conservatively. The offense rarely took shots down the field and seemed almost stubborn to go to the air when the run game wasn’t working. Defensively, the first half couldn’t have gone much better for the Panthers. They held a 7-3 lead and had stopped Russell Wilson in his tracks. In the second half, defensive coordinator Sean McDermott became a lot more aggressive with blitzes but ultimately ended up getting burned on bubble screens and long passes downfield. Final Thoughts: The Panthers were upset after the game that they had let another win slip through their grip as they should have been.The team can’t linger over this loss too long because they have to travel and take on a Buffalo Bills team that took Tom Brady and Co. down to the final seconds. There is no sugarcoating it: the upcoming Bills game is a must win for the team. Starting 0-2 would almost be unrecoverable given how talented the NFC South is.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Dick Vitale will not call Duke-UNC rematch either

PHOTO: Auburn coaches, players wear ribbons for Mason

Dustin Penner apologizes after sending rape joke on Twitter

Report: Cowboys to use franchise tag on Dez Bryant

Report: Panthers officially parting ways with Greg Hardy

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Could the Eagles release LeSean McCoy?

AEG: Inglewood stadium would be a terrorism target

Former Knick Anthony Mason dies at age 48

Report: Blackhawks, Caps discussed Patrick Sharp trade

Giancarlo Stanton was 'angered' over $325 million offer

Colts, Cardinals, Cowboys interested in Adrian Peterson?

Jamal Mayers calls out media over Blackhawks report

Alabama recruits aim to bring the dynasty back

WATCH: Jon Jones, Rumble Johnson prank Dana White

Anthony Mason: The most 'New York' of the 90's Knicks

Ray Rice addresses domestic violence case, his future & more

Kentucky raffling off Wildcats-themed motorcycle

WATCH: Montrezl Harrell throws down monster alley-oop

WATCH: Tyler Hansbrough, Festus Ezeli ejected for fight

WATCH: Russell Westbrook literally gets dent in his face

WATCH: Knicks' Alexey Shved tosses wild pass into stands

Ten players ready to make the leap in 2015

WATCH: Reggie Bush says he won't quit football

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Anthony Mason: The most 'New York' of the 90's Knicks

Could Eagles release LeSean McCoy?

AEG plays dirty with Inglewood stadium

Anthony Mason dies at age 48

Westbrook got dent in his cheek

Earl Lloyd and basketball’s cruel February

WATCH: Barkley rips analytics again

A-Rod: A con man returns to baseball

Bostick death threats show why some fans take sports too seriously

Russell Westbrook is surging into the MVP conversation

Five-round NFL Mock Draft

Key offseason moves for every MLB team

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.