It’s safe to say Panthers quarterback Bryce Young’s rookie season hasn’t unfolded as Carolina fans expected.
Young, the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NFL draft, has struggled at times in year one under coach Frank Reich, throwing eight touchdowns against seven interceptions. The former Heisman winner has spent 2023 the subject of unfavorable comparisons to Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud, who has thrown 14 touchdowns against one interception after being drafted immediately following Young.
The Panthers had a chance to give Young a major confidence boost Thursday evening late in their 16–13 loss to the Bears. However, Carolina kicked and missed a 59-yard field goal to try and tie the game, rather than putting the ball in their quarterback’s hands on a crucial fourth down.
“That’s my call,” Reich said at Thursday night’s press conference. “I’ve seen us make 60-yarders in practice, felt like there a little breeze at our back. If you look at the pure percentages, the pure percentage play is to kick it.”
Carolina Panthers coach Frank Reich says he regrets the 59-yard field goal attempt in the fourth quarter of Thursday night’s loss to the Chicago Bears.
Bob Donnan/USA TODAY Sports
It was a decision coach Frank Reich came to regret, as he outlined in his press conference Friday.
“Give Bryce that moment, in hindsight,” Reich said. “The reason is that there was still time enough on the clock. Even if we get the conversion, we still have time to drive down and score. It’s easy to second guess yourself, I wish I’d gone the other way. I considered all the options, I went with the statistical play.”
The loss dropped the Panthers to 1–8 on the season—a record that as it stands constitutes Carolina’s worst winning percentage since 2001.