Head Coach Frank Reich Intensifies Panthers Struggles

Panthers Face New Challenges Amidst Season's Turbulent Journey.

by Zain ul Abedin
Head Coach Frank Reich Intensifies Panthers Struggles
© Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The Carolina Panthers' tumultuous season unravels as they grapple with mounting challenges on and off the field. In their latest setback during "Thursday Night Football" in Week 10, the Panthers suffered a disheartening 16-13 loss to the Chicago Bears, a game marked by their inability to score a touchdown on offense.

The Bears, led by undrafted rookie quarterback Tyson Bagent, capitalized on this opportunity, leaving the Panthers in disarray. Adding to the turmoil, head coach Frank Reich's recent comments have sparked speculation about further upheaval within the team's coaching ranks.

In a statement on Monday's episode of "X" on CBS Sports, Reich refrained from confirming whether offensive coordinator Thomas Brown would continue as the primary play-caller for the upcoming Week 11 clash against the Dallas Cowboys.

This uncertainty is critical for the Panthers, who have struggled to find their rhythm this season.

Reich had previously delegated playcalling duties to Brown following Carolina's Week 7 bye. This change initially seemed to inject some much-needed vitality into the team, leading to their first-season victory against Houston, with C.J.

Stroud at quarterback. Stroud, selected immediately after Carolina's first pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, Bryce Young, has shown promising development.

Young's Struggling Form

However, the Panthers' fortunes have nosedived in recent games, with defeats to Indianapolis and Chicago highlighting their offensive woes.

Despite being the No. 1 overall pick, Young has failed to live up to the expectations of a franchise quarterback. His performance, characterized by a lackluster 44-for-77 for 358 yards and one touchdown against three interceptions, raises concerns about his ability to lead the team effectively.

The decision to potentially revoke Brown's playcalling responsibilities comes when the Panthers' offense is already struggling, averaging 17 points per game, one of the lowest in the NFL. A reversal of this decision by Reich, especially if he resumes playcalling duties, could further destabilize the team's offensive strategy.

Reich's previous tenure as play-caller yielded mixed results, with the passing game exceeding 250 yards only once, under veteran quarterback Andy Dalton in Week 3.

Compounding these challenges is the absence of a first-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft for the Panthers, a consequence of their trade with Chicago to secure Young.

Meanwhile, Stroud has consistently outperformed Young despite a less impressive showing in their head-to-head encounter in Week 8. As the Panthers prepare to face the formidable defense of the Dallas Cowboys, Reich must maintain a consistent approach to playcalling.

Any further changes could exacerbate the team's existing problems, hindering their chances of recovery in a season already marred by setbacks and disappointments.