Dating sites are a very popular method for people looking for a partner. Whether that is someone to hook up with, have a casual relationship with or a long-term relationship, there is something people are looking for when signing up for a dating site. The Carolina Panthers were such a team signed up on a dating site with something to look for: a quarterback who commits little mistakes.
Let’s look at why they needed this.
With the first pick of the 2011 NFL Draft, they selected what they hoped would be the future of their franchise with Auburn quarterback Cam Newton. He dazzled in his rookie season and Panthers’ fans were excited about the future. From 2013-15, he led the Panthers to three straight division titles, and in 2015, led the Panthers to the Super Bowl after winning regular season MVP. However, the Denver Broncos’ defense, led by Super Bowl MVP Von Miller and pass rusher Demarcus Ware, shut him down and the Panthers lost 24-10. Newton had a notoriously bad post-game press conference and things have gone downhill since. The Panthers, in the last three years, have made the playoffs only once, which was 2017 where they lost 31-26 at New Orleans. That season, Newton struggled, and the Panthers finished with the fifth-worst total offense with the defense carrying the team toward an 11-5 record.
The last two seasons have seen the Panthers totally collapse the second half of the season and the end of the Cam Newton-Luke Keuchly-Ron Rivera era. The Panthers in the first eight games of the last two seasons were a combined 11-5. In the second half of the last two seasons, the Panthers finished an astonishing 1-15, which the one win was against the Saints’ backups quarterbacked by Teddy Bridgewater. Keuchly promptly retired after the season ended, Rivera was fired in early December and Newton has been released.
This free agency, the Panthers set up their profile by wanting a quarterback that limits mistakes, but can still produce. This is because last season, the Panthers had a four-game winning streak that showed them the formula for the Panthers to be successful: limit turnovers, have solid production through the air, and give the ball to Christian McCaffrey.
In these four games, the Panthers turned to second year quarterback Kyle Allen after they started 0-2 with Cam Newton. Allen was solid. He threw seven touchdown passes with zero interceptions and McCaffrey scored seven touchdowns as well. Even though Allen did lose four fumbles during this stretch, the defense still had little pressure on them, and the offense did their job. However, after their bye week, they went into San Francisco and were clobbered 51-13 with Allen throwing three interceptions. The Panthers would finish the season 5-11 after a 4-2 start and the Panthers went into the offseason searching for a future.
They hired Baylor head coach Matt Rhule to be their head coach and they hired LSU passing game coordinator Joe Brady to be their offensive coordinator. The quarterback that matched the criteria they were looking for after signing up for the site was New Orleans Saints’ backup quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.
Bridgewater has had an up and down career so far. After taking over the Minnesota Vikings’ quarterback job in 2014, he led the Vikings to a division title in 2015. While losing in heartbreaking fashion 10-9 in the playoffs to the Seattle Seahawks, the future was bright for Bridgewater. However, during a team practice in August of 2016, he tore his ACL and dislocated his knee joint and would miss nearly all the next two seasons. He left for New Orleans in 2018 and had limited action, but in 2019, he had to fill in for an injured Drew Brees for five games. In those five games, Bridgewater threw nine touchdown passes, only two interceptions and the Saints went 5-0, which included wins at Seattle and against the undefeated Dallas Cowboys at the time. In 2015 with the Vikings, he only threw nine interceptions in 17 games as a starter and only threw two in 2019.
Bridgewater fits the profile the Panthers were needing perfectly. He is an experienced quarterback that limits turnovers, can have solid production through the air, and let McCaffrey do his thing. Bridgewater will also have rising star wide receiver to throw to in D.J. Moore and they have the potential to form a nice duo. It is a perfect fit on the site. Let us find out if the relationship is as perfect as it looks on paper.