The Carolina Panthers are trying to stay optimistic as they figure out what caused their high-octane offense to sputter and crash in a 16-10 season-opening loss at Tampa Bay.
They’ll need to come up with answers soon to avoid falling into a big early season hole.
The Panthers host NFC powers New Orleans and the New York Giants in the next 10 days, teams with quarterbacks who know a thing or two about putting points on the board.
Another outing like Sunday – one in which the Panthers ran for just 10 yards, tying a dubious franchise record – likely won’t get it done.
Although second-year coach Ron Rivera wasn’t happy with his team’s performance, he remains upbeat insisting “there’s no reason to panic or do anything rash now.”
Rivera is confident Carolina’s offense, which finished fifth in the league in points scored and third in rushing a year ago, will bounce back.
“There’s some cause for optimism as the mistakes on the offensive side are all correctable,” Rivera said Monday. “It wasn’t a glaring thing as far as schematically. It was a player here or a player there, something that they did (wrong). We’ll get better at it.”
CARDINALS: Quarterback John Skelton has a low ankle sprain.
Coach Ken Whisenhunt called the diagnosis “good news,” considering Skelton had to be carted off the field Sunday. Whisenhunt would not speculate on how long Skelton might be sidelined.
JETS: Announced that cornerback Darrelle Revis has a “mild concussion,” and his status for the team’s game at Pittsburgh on Sunday was uncertain.
BROWNS: Joe Haden was suspended Monday without pay for four games for violating the NFL’s policy on performance enhancing substances. Haden’s suspension begins immediately, and he will not be eligible to return to the Browns’ active roster until Oct. 8, one day after they play at the New York Giants.
BRONCOS: Ty Warren’s football future is in doubt after he tore his right triceps in his first game since 2009.
Coach John Fox said Monday the defensive lineman would miss “significant time” but wasn’t sure if his season was over or if he could go in recallable I.R.