Rookie QB Bryce Young, Panthers remain optimistic despite 0-2 start

Greg Auman

NFC South Reporter

CHARLOTTE — Everyone else in the NFC South is off to a 2-0 start, but the Carolina Panthers are 0-2 and now have four straight games against teams with winning records last season. Despite their early struggles, first-year Panthers coach Frank Reich and rookie quarterback Bryce Young say this is no time to panic.

“I’ve seen this before. It’s not that far away,” Reich said after a 20-17 home loss to the Saints on Monday night. “It looks bad, but really, I don’t believe it’s that far away. … I know we have the players and the coaches to do it. I have zero doubt about that. It’s just we have to execute better on offense.”

After opening the year with a 24-10 loss to the Falcons, the Panthers again struggled to move the ball consistently and score with Young, this year’s No. 1 overall draft pick, at quarterback. Their defense played well enough to keep them close, tied 6-6 late in the third quarter and trailing just 13-9 midway through the fourth, but this isn’t the start they envisioned for 2023.

“Obviously, we’re not where we need to be right now,” said Young, who threw for just 153 yards on 33 passes but did have a 26-yard run. “But there’s no loss of confidence, no loss of faith in the locker room. I’m grateful to be a part of this team. I believe in this team, believe in the coaching staff. I feel like we have what it takes, and we just have to execute and do a better job of putting it together. Ultimately, we have to go out and prove that. I’m confident.”

The opponents won’t make that any easier. On Sunday, the Panthers go to Seattle, and after a home game against Minnesota, they’re back on the road to play at Detroit and Miami. All four went 9-8 or better last season, and the Panthers would do well to split those four games and be 2-4 at their bye week. Reich said he has seen teams bounce back from worse.

“This is a week-to-week league. All that matters is the next week,” Reich said. “We started 1-5 and made the playoffs one…

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Publish date : 2023-09-19 14:33:50

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