Bryce Young has gone down a familiar -- albeit unenviable -- path as plenty of former No. 1 overall picks before him. The Panthers rookie took the field Sunday for his first career start and came up on the losing end as Carolina fell to the Falcons, 24-10. Young now joins a long list of top picks to lose in the opener to begin their careers and extends a losing streak that has lasted over 20 years, as David Carr in 2002 is the last No. 1 overall pick to start and win the opener.
Young wasn't particularly sharp in his debut, throwing two interceptions on the afternoon and both into the arms of new Falcons safety Jessie Bates III. Young's first pick came in the closing minutes of the first quarter with the Panthers deep in their own territory. That gave the ball to Atlanta inside the red zone and they were eventually able to punch it in for the first touchdown of the game. The second came midway through the third quarter with Carolina holding a 10-7 lead. Young's throw intended for Terrace Marshall Jr. was picked by Bates at midfield. The Falcons then got into field goal range to knot the game at 10 apiece and helped kick off a 17-3 run in the second half.
"That's unacceptable,'' Young said of his performance, via ESPN. "That's on me. I just have to clean that up.''
Young finished 20 of 38 passing for 146 yards, a touchdown, and those two interceptions.
"Not good enough," Young continued. "Not good enough to win, obviously. I made crucial turnovers, which you can't do, especially where they happened. That falls on me. That falls on my shoulders."
While Young's debut wasn't able to buck the trend of prior No. 1 overall picks, Panthers head coach Frank Reich does believe the young quarterback will be able to rebound quickly.
"Listen, Bryce is the last person I'm worried about, how he handles this," Reich said. "He's got the maturity of someone way beyond his years. He's a team person. He'll be hard on himself, and each of us should be.
"That was the message we talked about. Players and coaches should be hard on themselves. In the next 24 hours it should not taste good, and we need to eat every bit of it. Otherwise, you don't learn and get better from it."
Young will have a shot at redemption and have an opportunity to earn his first career win next week when Carolina opens up Bank of America Stadium with an NFC South showdown against the Saints on Sunday.