Pick almost any of the NFL's major offensive statistical categories and there's a good chance the Carolina Panthers are at or near the bottom of it:
Last in points per game.
Last in turnovers.
Next to last in total offense.
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Twenty-eighth in passing yards.
The Panthers downplayed their struggles during the preseason, when they failed to score an offensive touchdown. But those problems have spilled into the regular season for a team averaging one touchdown and four turnovers.
Carolina tight end Jeff King believes three games are too small of a sample size to make lasting judgments of an offense that already had a change at quarterback and is still trying to develop rhythm and consistency.
"Stats are stats. There's teams out there that are 3-0 and the stats are going to be skewed.
"Three games isn't enough to say, 'Hey, you guys are (crappy) and you guys are good,'" King said Monday. "It's going to take four or five more weeks to get a handle on this is what we don't do well, this is what we do well."
The Panthers, 0-3 for the second consecutive season, were expected to run the ball well. Carolina was third in the NFL in rushing last year, when DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart became the first tandem in league history to each run for 1,100 yards.
But defenses have been bringing a safety up and stacking eight men near the line of scrimmage to limit the Panthers' rushing attack, and daring their young quarterbacks to beat them.
That has not happened much. Jimmy Clausen's 44-yard pass to Brandon LaFell in Sunday's 20-7 loss to Cincinnati was just the fourth completion longer than 25 yards. Meanwhile, the Panthers are averaging 3.6 yards per carry - down from a 4.8-yard average in 2009.
"With a single, high safety, you've got to make plays down the field throwing the ball. And still run the ball. You get 3 or 4 yards every time," Clausen said. "But when there's plays to be made in the passing game with eight guys in the box, you need to make some plays."
Clausen "more than likely" will make his second NFL start this week at New Orleans, Panthers coach John Fox said.
Clausen completed 16 of 33 passes for 188 yards against the Bengals, but had a hand in three turnovers, including a fumbled snap on the Panthers' third offensive play.
Fox said Clausen did "pretty well" identifying fronts and was "pretty quick" getting rid of the ball in the pocket. But as was the case when Matt Moore started the first two games, turnovers continue to plague the Panthers.
Carolina has an NFL-worst 12 giveaways, including 10 by the quarterbacks.
The turnovers have become so prevalent that Fox is categorizing them.
"The variety last week was more sack-fumbles. This week they were just fumbles, whether it be in the run game or the center-quarterback exchange," Fox said. "But either way, they're turnovers that give the short field for the opponent."
They also have helped keep the Panthers out of the end zone. Moore had three red-zone interceptions in an opening-week loss to the Giants, while two of Clausen's turnovers against Cincinnati came at or inside the Bengals' 25-yard line.
Clausen said the giveaways and a couple of low throws were the most glaring errors from his first start, but he does not plan to dwell on them.
"From this point on," Clausen said, the Panthers would "go out to practice with a sense of urgency and get better."
The offense, in particular.
"Sometimes we feel like we're not doing our job, picking up our part of the bargain. We want to do that," said King, the fifth-year tight end. "Defense has given us ample opportunities to win. We just need to hold on to our part of it. And we will."