Biggest takeaways from Panthers’ Week 5 loss to 49ers

What did we learn from the Carolina Panthers’ 37-15 loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday? Sadly, nothing new.

A no-impact offense

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Maybe a little solace can be taken in the fact that this group faced the NFL’s premier defense. And maybe a little more can be taken considering that they hit the 300-yard mark for the first time all season.

But, unfortunately, your record doesn’t care about what kind of defense you played. Oh, and they were only at 263 yards of total offense before the final three minutes of garbage time hit anyway.

So, yeah, we got much of the same from the Panthers offense on Sunday. They scored only one touchdown, converted on just three of their 15 third-down tries and got another uninspiring performance from quarterback Baker Mayfield—who completed 20 of his 36 throws for 215 yards and a costly interception.

This past Thursday, offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo stated that he wasn’t making the impact he was hired to make. Well, after a fifth straight dud, he still hasn’t.

An okay defense

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The other side of the ball was . . . alright.

Carolina’s defense didn’t completely implode and weren’t the main reason for this latest loss. They even, for the second consecutive game, chalked up a fumble recovery and got some special teams magic on another blocked field goal.

But, they still allowed a bit too many chunk plays. The Niners offense ripped off 10 plays of at least 15 yards, with four of those going for at least 20.

Many of those gains came from the backfield, courtesy of running backs Jeff Wilson Jr. and Tevin Coleman. Their ability to move the markers helped San Francisco put a stranglehold on the victory relatively early in this one.

This is the brand

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Head coach Matt Rhule is a big believer in establishing a “brand.” Well, the brand has been more than established.

The Panthers are 11-27 under Rhule. They are 1-27 in games where opponents score at least 17 points.

They’ve lost 11 of their last 12 games. They’ve also lost 15 of their 20 home games under this current staff. (They also, for the umpteenth time, saw their stadium essentially captured by the visiting fans.)

It’s, obviously, been much of this since Rhule’s hiring in 2020. So if the brand is “laughing stock,” they’ve done a bang-up job of achieving it.

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Story originally appeared on Panthers Wire