What it means: The Panthers are a team that can go either way, and a loss like this could start a downhill spiral. The performance of Carolina’s defense in the preseason got some hopes up, and the Panthers did intercept Eli Manning three times. But Carolina still surrendered 31 points, and that’s not going to get you many wins in John Fox’s style of football.
What’s next: Opening the new stadium against the Giants would have been a real challenge for any team. We’ll get a better read on what the Panthers are all about next week when they host Tampa Bay. If they lose that one, things could get out of control for the Panthers and truly make Fox a lame duck.
Tomorrow's Talker: Is it time to turn things over to rookie quarterback Jimmy Clausen. Starter Matt Moore was intercepted three times, and it’s been assumed he’s on a short leash since the day the Panthers drafted Clausen. Fox’s track record suggests that he likely will give Moore at least a few more starts. But Moore absorbed a vicious hit late in the game and reportedly was taken to a New Jersey hospital for observation while the team flew back to Charlotte. We’ll see what the diagnosis is on Moore, but it might be unrealistic to expect him to be ready next week.
What I didn't like: Carolina’s play calling. Yeah, I know the Panthers want to emphasize the passing game a little bit more and I’m all for that. But, when you’ve got DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart and you’re in the red zone, shouldn’t you let them run? Five carries for Stewart are about 10 too few.