The Panthers fell to 3-2 after a hard fought loss to the Washington Redskins as they were unable to overcome 17-0 deficit. In the first half of the game, the Panthers turned the ball over three times which led to 10 Redskins points. The Panthers staged a late, second half rally but came up short in the final minutes.

The Redskins beat the Panthers at their own game. On defense, they were able to force three turnovers and put their offense in favorable positions. On offense, the Redskins controlled the ball with a power run game led by Adrian Peterson who finished with 17 carries for 97 yards. The Redskins dominated time of possession, holding the ball for 35 minutes and 24 seconds, compared to 24 minutes and 36 seconds for the Panthers.

The difference in time of possession proved to be one of the deciding factors in the game. The Panthers only had three possessions in the 2nd half which made it difficult to finish the comeback attempt. The Panthers defense was unable to get off of the field to give the offense more opportunities to get points. The Redskins converted 7 out of 16 third down attempts and one out of two fourth down attempts.

The Panthers defense appears to be a unit that is still struggling to find to find its identity. Heading into the matchup against the Eagles, the Panthers defense ranks 15th in rushing yards per game given up, which is the team’s lowest ranking since 2014. The unit is giving up an average of 4.6 yards per carry which ranks 23rd in the league. The Panthers defense is also one of the five worst in defending 3rd and “medium” (3-6 yards) situations. According to NFL Matchup, the Panthers defense allows first downs on 53.8 percent of opponents’ 3rd and medium situations.

Given the uncharacteristic performance of the Panthers defense, I decided to focus the Week 6 breakdown solely on the struggles of the Panthers defense. I take a look at each of the Redskins key plays of offense that led to touchdowns or allowed them to sustain drives. Based on my observations, I believe that the Panthers defensive problems are fixable and it comes down to players being more disciplined with their assignments and coaching adding some wrinkles to the defense to make their pass coverages more effective.

Enjoy the video and let me know what you think. These are things that will hopefully be corrected as the team heads to Philadelphia in an important road matchup.



Before I get started, I will begin with a brief introduction. As longtime Panthers fans, I and three other friends launched The 4 Man Rush podcast to cover the Panthers in a detailed way that you may not get to see on ESPN or NFL Network. I have had a passion for football since I began playing at eight years old and continue to enjoy breaking down game film to help other fans enjoy the game as much as I do.

This led to the launching of The 4 Man Rush YouTube page, where we created a platform for us to break down Panthers games and give the fans an opportunity to look at things that they may have not seen on a live broadcast or in Bank of America Stadium. Since the start of the season, I began posting weekly game previews, where I will break down the Panthers upcoming opponents and discuss the Panthers’ keys to victory,  and post-game analysis where I will break down the Panthers’ performance. As the channel gains popularity I will continue to add more segments.

Now, let’s talk football. This past weekend, the Carolina Panthers defeated the New York Giants in a 33-31 thriller that was capped off by a 63-yard field goal from kicker Graham Gano. Prior to the game, I looked at the 1-3 Giants as a dangerous opponent despite their record because of the explosive playmakers they have on offense and the young talent that they have on defense. The Giants gave the Panthers everything they can handle as they put up 432 yards of offense and forced two turnovers. In this post-game video, I will break down what the Panthers did well and areas I would like to see them improve as the season progresses. In summary, here were some of my observations:


2nd Series of the Game – When I looked at the Panthers offense on paper heading into the season, this series is what I envisioned and I would like to see the Panthers build on this. The Panthers ended a 5 play, 75-yard drive in which 5 different players touched the ball. The drive got started with a play-action pass to Devin Funchess who ran a comeback route and made a great sideline catch. Then you saw a preview of what DJ Moore can do with the ball in his hands as he broke numerous tackles on an 18-yard reverse play, highlighted by a crushing block from Cam Newton. The Panthers came back with productive plays from Ian Thomas and Christian McCaffrey before Curtis Samuel capped off the drive with a highlight reel touchdown.

Playaction Pass Game – The Panthers play-action pass game has been clicking as Cam Newton went 8-10 for 117 yards. You are starting to see defenses focus on Christian McCaffrey running the ball and as a receiver out of the backfield which has really opened up the play action pass.

The Return of Thieves Ave – Thieves Ave have continued their hot start to the season as Mike Adams was able to pick off Eli Manning twice. So far, the Panthers have forced 9 turnovers which is 3rd in the NFL.

3rd Down Defense – Credit to the Panthers defense for winning on 3rd down as the Giants went 0-7.


Explosive Plays – According to Sharp Football Stats, the Panthers rank towards the bottom of the league in generating explosive passing plays on offense and defending explosive plays on defense. In this game, the Giants generated 307 yards on 10 explosive plays. With respect to other plays, the Giants gained 125 yards on 44 plays (2.8 yards per play). In this video, we break down how the Giants were able to generate explosive plays and why the Panthers have been unable to.

Drive Killers – The Panthers had drives stalled by penalties, turnovers and missed assignments. I would like to see the team be able to better sustain and finish drives going forward.

With that said, I hope you enjoy the video and I look forward to hearing your feedback.