MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — All week, Matt Rhule and the Panthers talked about holding each other accountable after a poor showing against Washington.
They vowed to be better in their next game.
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But against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, the Panthers might have been worse.
Their offense, which was coming off one of its better games, was horrendous in their 33-10 loss. They played uninspired; the offensive line committed unnecessary penalties on first downs; receivers were rarely open, and when they were, quarterback Cam Newton missed them.
Yes, Newton, who had provided a jolt of energy for the Panthers’ fan base since his signing two weeks ago, looked Sam Darnold-like.
He was 5-of-21 passing for 92 yards and threw two costly interceptions. He had a 5.8 passer rating before he was replaced by P.J Walker in the fourth quarter.
Rhule said he made the decision to pull Newton in the fourth quarter because Walker had a better grasp of the two-minute offense. He also said he didn’t anticipate making any changes at starting quarterback.
“At the end of the day, we weren’t protecting the quarterback worthwhile at all,” Rhule said. “It didn’t seem fair to keep Cam in there to keep getting hit ... At the same time, Cam hasn’t had a lot of experience at that part of the game that, unfortunately, we were in.”
Panthers star Christian McCaffrey also didn’t play in the fourth quarter after injuring his ankle.