Baker Mayfield takes responsibility for Panthers offensive battle: ‘I need to lead this group better’


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The Carolina Panthers‘ addition of quarterback Baker Mayfield instilled some optimism for a fan base that desperately needed it. With some decent wideouts, a star running back in Christian McCaffrey and what was seen as a few upgrades along the offensive line, it wasn’t absurd to think that Carolina’s offense might surprise some people out of the gate, right? wrong.

The Panthers are 0-2, with both losses to teams that missed the playoffs in the Deshaun Watson-less last year Cleveland Brownsand 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 ownership of Carolina’s tough start.

“Not good enough,” Mayfield said Wednesday. “For me it’s all about winning, whatever my stats are. (I) haven’t looked after the ball well enough. That’s pretty much the only stat I care about.

“I have to manage this group better. I have to lead better, I have to make sure everyone is on the same page where we are performing at a much higher level. That’s the biggest disappointment for me is that hasn’t shown yet. So I take full ownership of it as a violation.”

Mayfield’s play could be better, but frankly, he isn’t solely responsible for what the Panthers’ attack has been like so far. Offensive Coordinator Ben McAdoo also caught some heat. star wide out DJ Moorewho signed lucrative three-year extension this off-season, got the same number of goals on Sunday as the second year wideout Shi Smith. Both also got more targets than McCaffrey, who is regarded as one of the best dual-threat backs in the league. The Panthers converted just 26.1 percent of their third-down attempts, scoring just four total touchdowns.

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Something needs to change soon for Carolina’s offense, and Mayfield takes it upon herself to fuel this unit and the team in general.