The Carolina Panthers enter the month of October with a 1-3 record.
This start to the season is having fans point fingers at who’s to blame for their team’s poor start.
The team is facing troubles early in the season and some are blaming Baker Mayfield.
Are the problems in Carolina his fault, or are others to blame as well?
Mayfield Isn’t Helping With His Poor Play
Mayfield is having another off-season, which is showcased by his poor play.
While he has one touchdown in each of his four starts, his expected points added per play ranks last in the NFL.
Among QBS with 50 plays this year, Baker Mayfield ranks 33rd of 33 quarterbacks in expected points added per play.
THERE S ONLY 32 TEAMS! pic.twitter.com/6sA9iTtD72
— Weston Blasi (@westonblasi) October 3, 2022
His last game against the Arizona Cardinals saw him throw two interceptions, something that hurt the Panthers.
However, it’s more than just his low touchdown totals and interceptions that’s hurting the Panthers this season.
His completion rate of 54.7% after four games is worse than Sam Darnold’s rate last season after four games with the Panthers.
Thru 4 games:
2021 Darnold – 1,189 yds, 5 passing td, 3 int, 67.85 comp %
2022 Mayfield – 747 yds, 4 passing td, 3 int, 54.7 comp %
— Joey Rogers (@JHenryRogers) October 3, 2022
While some fans want Darnold after the Panthers’ disastrous start to 2022, are their issues Mayfield’s fault?
Coaching Disrupted Everything Bringing Mayfield To Carolina
With the former first overall pick already in Carolina, there’s blame on ownership for getting him.
While Darnold isn’t the best QB, he’s nearly the same as Mayfield in a per game comparison.
However, with Matt Rhule’s job on the line, some thought changing their QB was the answer to their woes.
The Panthers’ starting QB is turning out to be a disaster, something Rhule and ownership didn’t plan on happening.
While the Panthers have two QBs currently injured, their offense could do better with P. J. Walker as their starting QB.
It’s clear the offensive line is making improvements in pass protection this season, meaning it’s poor QB play costing them games.
Panthers team pass protection grade each week this season:
Week 1: 44.9
Week 2: 73.4
— PFF CAR Panthers (@PFF_Panthers) September 20, 2022
However, coaching will let the team sink with Mayfield rather than admit they need another QB.
So not everything falls on the shoulders of the former Cleveland Browns QB when talking about the Panthers’ losses.
But, he shares some of the blame for the Panthers’ poor season.
With shared blame between him and coaching, can the Panthers turn things around and salvage their season?
Bringing Back Sam Darnold Might Happen When He Returns From His Injury
With the team’s 1-3 start, and Rhule’s job on the line, fans can expect a switch back to Darnold.
Their current QB didn’t make fans happy with his latest comments about fans booing him.
#Panthers QB Baker Mayfield: "…we can sit here and let you guys pile on us or we're gonna come together as a locker room… I don't really care about the fact that our fans are booing. We're going to figure it out and when we win it'll still be just us in the locker room." pic.twitter.com/zdWLqLtTSg
— Nick Carboni (@NickCarboniWCNC) October 3, 2022
While he doesn’t care, it might cause fans to call for Darnold to return under center.
However, he won’t be available until he recovers from the injury he suffered during the preseason.
Currently, he’s on injury reserve and isn’t available for another week.
But that extra week is only a best-case scenario for his return.
While he’s still out, the team will continue to stick with their current starting QB.
However, they should give Walker a chance to take over the offense.
He can hold the team over until Darnold makes his return from his injury and possibly give the team some wins.