GREEN BAY, Wis. – The Panthers had run six plays when the Packers scored their third touchdown to take a 21-0 lead in the first quarter.
"We had no rhythm," tight end Greg Olsen said.
And after going three-and-out on their first two possessions, they had no chance to establish it.
"We have to start faster on offense," quarterback Cam Newton said. "Two three-and-outs is unacceptable."
The Panthers expect better execution on offense to start the game. Against the explosive Packers led by arguably the game's best quarterback, a strong, well-balanced start was a necessity.
Instead, Carolina's offensive plan was completely turned on its head as the Packers racked up points early and often, forcing the Panthers into catchup mode.
By halftime, Green Bay led 28-3 and had outgained Carolina 271 yards to 113.
"When the score starts getting to three, four touchdowns, it's hard to sit back there and try to execute (the game plan) and run the ball and stuff like that," said Olsen, who had a team-high eight catches for 105 yards. "It just becomes hard."
Newton took full responsibility for the offense's inability to keep up with Green Bay's torrid pace.
"It is kind of frustrating when you are sitting on the sidelines thinking that you didn't do anything that would change the outlook on things," said Newton, who completed 17-of-31 passes for 205 yards and one touchdown along with one interception in the 38-17 loss. "When you self-evaluate, what I did today wasn't enough and I need to be better.
"You have to continuously keep moving the ball forward, and I didn't do that enough today. I am going to point the finger at myself first and say that my performance I put out there today wasn't good enough."
But of course, it's about more than just Newton. It's about the entire unit. And what frustrates Newton is the fact that hard work in practice hasn't been translating to production on game day.
"You see the guys on Wednesdays and Thursdays giving every single thing they've got. We just need to have those things we do during the week carry over to Sundays. It's frustrating when it doesn't," Newton said. "When you have a performance like this, it's just melting, to a degree."
But Newton is confident the Panthers will pick up the pieces and come together.
"What are we going to do? Quit? Absolutely not," Newton said. "We have to keep going, keep fighting, and we'll find a way to get out of this."