Bryce Young era began last Sunday for the Carolina Panthers. Hope and enthusiasm have surrounded the rookie quarterback since the day he was drafted number one overall in the NFL Draft. While I don’t subscribe to overreacting after just one game, the Panther’s (and Young’s) performance left a great deal to be desired.
Actually, history tells us that we should have foreseen the Week One result. I read earlier in the week that it was virtually inevitable that Carolina was going to lose.
Young now joins a long list of top picks to lose in the opener to begin their careers and extends a losing streak that has lasted over 20 years, as David Carr in 2002 is the last No. 1 overall pick to start and win the opener.
Young did little in the team’’s 24-10 setback to the Atlanta Falcons. He threw two interceptions and both into the arms of new Falcons safety Jessie Bates III. Young’s first pick came in the closing minutes of the first quarter with the Panthers deep in their own territory. That gave the ball to Atlanta inside the red zone and they were eventually able to punch it in for the first touchdown of the game. The second came midway through the third quarter with Carolina holding a 10-7 lead. Young’s throw intended for Terrace Marshall Jr. was picked by Bates at midfield. The Falcons then got into field goal range to knot the game at 10 apiece and helped kick off a 17-3 run in the second half.
Young, who later called his performance “unacceptable”, finished 20 of 38 passing for 146 yards, a touchdown, and those two interceptions.
Young will have a shot at redemption and have an opportunity to earn his first career win next week when Carolina opens up Bank of America Stadium with an NFC South showdown against the Saints on Sunday.
No Medals For The USA
After failing to medal at the 2023 World Basketball Games, it is clear that the United States has work to do between now and the 2024 Summer Olympics.
While it’s easy to say that the U.S. would have dominated the competition if it had sent its best players to the 2023 FIBA World Cup, the reality is that there was still enough talent on this year’s Team USA squad to have secured gold, let alone any medal, and it came up embarrassingly empty.
It was not all that long ago when we could get away with not sending our best players into International play. Not anymore. Basketball talent around the world has improved. And let me share a little secret with you. Kids throughout the world are still being taught the game’s fundamentals while youth in America do little but shoot threes and play hone in their one-on-one skills. As a result, the US is vulnerable to countries that value team play.
For instance, the US team this summer was overloaded with ball-dominant scorers like Anthony Edwards, Jalen Brunson, and Brandon Ingram. All three came up small in the team’s last three losses of the tourney.
The United States has won only two of the last six FIBA golds, compared with five of the last six Olympics. Top players often skip FIBA tournaments. If they continue to skip on an annual basis, there will likely be more disappointing finishes in the near future.