The Panthers put together a late rally to force overtime in Sunday’s game against the Vikings, but Minnesota scored a touchdown to open the extra period and sent the Panthers to their third straight loss.
All three of those losses have come without running back Christian McCaffrey, who is on injured reserve with a hamstring injury and will miss at least two more games. The offense has struggled without McCaffrey each week and Sunday saw them pick up just 155 yards until the two late scoring drives that sent the game to overtime.
Carolina also turned the ball over three times, dealt with inaccuracy from quarterback Sam Darnold, and saw receivers drop too many passes when he was able to put the ball on target. After the game, head coach Matt Rhule said that the team is struggling to find an offensive identity.
“I think right now, we have to figure out, especially with Christian out and some other guys out, what our identity is . . . We’re trying to figure out exactly how to win as best we can,” Rhule said, via Darin Gantt of the team’s website.
Next weekend brings a road game against the Giants and the 1-5 team has helped several teams find their groove so far this season. It would be a good time for the Panthers to do that so they can remain in the mix once McCaffrey’s back to give the offense the jolt it sorely needs.