Sunday didn’t just mark a new era under center for the Carolina Panthers. It also began a fresh reign on the sideline, with head coach Frank Reich at the helm.
Unfortunately for Reich, that start was quite sour—as the Panthers fell to the NFC South rival Atlanta Falcons, 24-10. Nonetheless, he was able to take away some sweet strides from the disappointing defeat.
“Atlanta, they were opportunistic,” he stated to open up his post-game presser. “They were opportunistic as a team. I saw some encouraging things on the field today—in all three phrases. But we have to own the fact that we didn’t play well enough as a team.
“What we talked about in the locker room was—we never accept losing. There’s good things out there. Good things by each unit, good things by certain individuals. But there’s only one outcome in this league that’s acceptable, and that’s winning. And we didn’t get that done today and every player and coach has to own that.”
Carolina also owned the losing side of the turnover battle, giving away three possessions while taking away none. Atlanta turned those gifts into 13 total points, with rookie quarterback Bryce Young tossing two interceptions and running back Miles Sanders coughing up a fumble.
So now, they’ll just have to get their palates ready for an unpleasant trip back home.
“In the next 24 hours, it should not taste good—and we need to eat every bit of it,” Reich later added. “Otherwise, you don’t learn and get better from it. So, we gotta feel the disappointment and the hurt. But not just feel it, we gotta figure out how to get better. And I believe we’ll do that as a team.”