On Thursday, ESPN analyst Dan Orlovsky criticized Matt Rhule and the Carolina Panthers coaching staff for “tipping plays”, pointing out the alleged transgressions in detailed film study of their Week 2 loss to the New York Giants. The ESPN analyst largely focused on the positioning of running back Christian McCaffrey, which he claimed was showing defenses what kind of play the Panthers were going to run.

Rhule was asked about the team tipping plays, and the Panthers coach fired back at the notion, per Joe Person of The Athletic.

Matt Rhule said, “If you’re saying they knew whether we were running or passing, how come we ran for 146 yards?” It is a good point by the Panthers head coach.

But to hang your hat on 146 yards rushing, which was more than the 129 yards of passing and 16 points the anemic Panthers offense managed to put up, is a bit strange.

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In Week 1, Baker Mayfield and the passing attack looked serviceable in Week 1, while McCaffrey and the running game were nowhere to be found. In Week 2, it was the opposite.

Rhule is a smart coach. He wouldn't be where he is if that wasn't the case. He acknowledged that the Panthers have put themselves in a position for people to take shots at them.

But Matt Rhule also must know that the only way to quiet the outside noise is to put a better product on the field offensively.

He and the team will get a chance to do just that in Week 3 against the division-rival New Orleans Saints.