NFL News and Rumors

Matt Rhule Putting Pressure on Baker Mayfield After Early Struggles

Devon Platana
Carolina Panthers HC Matt Rhule has put the pressure on Baker Mayfield after the quarterback's early struggles.
Carolina Panthers HC Matt Rhule has put the pressure on Baker Mayfield after the quarterback's early struggles. / AP Photos/Jacob Kupferman

Baker Mayfield made it clear this offseason that he wanted to use his Carolina Panthers tenure as a means to prove the Cleveland Browns wrong. Instead, the former Heisman Trophy winner has struggled out of the gate, leading the Panthers to a 1-3 record with an offense that just isn't clicking.

The Charlotte Reporter's Ellis L. Williams reports that Matt Rhule's patience is now wearing thin with his starting quarterback. The Panthers head coach told reporters on Monday that he wants Mayfield to "settle down" and that the offensive line is good enough to help him accomplish that.

Carolina Panthers News

Rhule added that fans expect entertainment at Panthers games, which is something Carolina's offense has yet to do. While the Panthers offense is right in the middle of the pack at No. 17 league-wide, a 19.5-point-per-game clip is hardly impressive.

It gets worse from there. The Panthers are dead last on third-down conversion rate (25.5%) and average possession time excluding overtime (24:18). Neither of those statistics is a recipe for winning football games.

Through four starts, Mayfield has seen career-lows in completion percentage (54.7%) and passing yards per game (186.8). Despite having world-class weapons like Christian McCaffrey and DJ Moore, the 27-year-old QB has only throw four touchdowns to three interceptions.

At the same time, Rhule's words could be a way of him fighting for his job. The Panthers HC is a lowly 11-26 to start his NFL career, meaning his job is likely in jeopardy if he doesn't quickly provide results.

Mayfield isn't safe either. Although he gave a non-answer, Rhule hasn't ruled out the idea of replacing his starting QB with backup Sam Darnold if things don't change soon.

Only time will tell if Mayfield can buy himself more time when his Panthers host the San Francisco 49ers in Week 5.

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Devon Platana is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Devon Platana also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username PepeSilvia0. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.