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Baker Mayfield takes charge of Panthers’ offensive struggles: ‘I have to command this group better’

Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com

The addition of Carolina Panthers quarterback Baker Mayfield provided some optimism for a fan base that desperately needed it. With some decent wide receivers, a star running back in Christian McCaffrey, and what were perceived as a couple of upgrades along the offensive line, it wasn’t unreasonable to think Carolina’s offense might surprise some people early on, right? ? wrong

The Panthers are 0-2, with both losses to teams that didn’t make the playoffs last year to the Deshaun Watson-less Cleveland Browns and the New York Giants. So far, the Panthers have the fifth worst offense in terms of total yards recorded per game and the third worst passing offense. This week, Mayfield tried to take charge of Carolina’s rocky start.

“It’s not good enough,” Mayfield said Wednesday. “I only care about winning, no matter what my stats are. (I) haven’t taken care of the ball well enough. That’s pretty much the only stat that matters to me.”

“I’ve got to lead this group better. I’ve got to lead better, I’ve got to make sure everyone is on the same page as to where we’re executing at a much higher level. That’s the biggest disappointment for me, is that he hasn’t shown yet. So I take full ownership of that as an offence.”

Mayfield’s play could be better, but truth be told, he’s not the only one responsible for how the Panthers’ offense has looked so far. Offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo has also been affected. Star catcher DJ Moore, who signed a lucrative three-year extension this offseason, he received the same number of targets on Sunday as second-year wide receiver Shi Smith. Both also received more targets than McCaffrey, who is seen as one of the best dual-threat running backs in the league. The Panthers have converted just 26.1 percent of their third-down attempts and scored just four total touchdowns.

Something needs to change fast for Carolina’s offense, and Mayfield is taking it upon himself to ignite this unit and the team as a whole.


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