The Carolina Panthers have a very strong team, but they have issues that are keeping them from becoming a top tier team. One of those issues is their defense is not playing up to its potential. The defense is making plays, but not enough plays to keep them in the win column.
Let us start out with the front line. They have produced only 10 sacks collectively. The line has made 60 tackles in 5 games, which comes out to only 12 tackles collectively a game. In short, what this means is that runners are getting to the second level and tackles are being made by linebackers and defensive backs. This has to tighten up because the front line is letting opponents get too much yardage by either not stopping the pass or by not stopping the run in the backfield or at the line of scrimmage.
The linebackers are making lots of tackles, but they are not causing a lot of turnovers. LB Jon Beason and LB Luke Kuechly have 2 interceptions between them. The schemes that are being called by defensive coordinator Sean McDermott are not getting the job done. McDermott will have to shake things up going forward if this team is to make the playoffs. Between personnel shake up or changing defensive schemes, something has to be done.
In the defensive backfield, again they are making tackles, but not creating turnovers or points. This defense needs more series that go just 3 and out. They have to make plays and get off the field to give their offense a chance to generate points and give the defensive players a rest so that they are not burned out in the fourth quarter.
The bottom line is that defenses win championships, and right now this defense can’t win a game. I feel that the coaching staff as a collective will have to come up with something to help this team.
I know this a better team than what is being shown on the field. The Panthers need to come together as a team and iron out their collective problems or this season is done.
Mike Samuels, Carolina Panthers Columnist, Twitter @NFLPANTHER_ROAR and http://www.facebook.com/TheSportsDude