They were already bad. Getting hurt didn't help.
The Carolina Panthers came into the game with the league's worst offense, and proceeded to lose a quarterback, two running backs and the game, 34-3 to the New Orleans Saints.
"We are not really a juggernaut right now," coach John Fox said. "But to lose two of your three running backs that were active for the day and your starting quarterback, things could go from kind of not so good to really bad."
Beyond the injuries, the Panthers were really bad on offense. For much of the game, they challenged the franchise record for fewest net yards - the 113 they gained at Buffalo in their second game as a franchise in 1995. They finished with 195, a number artificially buoyed by two garbage-time drives.
And bucking a trend of the season, the actually ran it well, even without inactive DeAngelo Williams. Jonathan Stewart showed some flashes (five carries for 30 yards) before leaving with an apparent concussion.
Backup Tyrell Sutton (seven for 41 yards) ran well before he suffered an ankle injury that left Mike Goodson as the only rushing option.
That and the early deficit left passing as the only real option.
After Matt Moore was driven into the ground in the second quarter, injuring his right shoulder, an already bad day got worse.
Rookie Jimmy Clausen entered in the second quarter, taking over at his own 3. It was reminiscent of his relief appearance in the opener at New York. He finished the 8-for-18 passing for 47 yards and an interception (28.5 rating). In the fourth quarter, fellow rookie Tony Pike replaced him, and put up an effort worthy of the fourth quarter of an exhibition. He was 6-for-12 for 47 yards.
"We've got two very young players there that, depending on Matt's status, might be our two quarterbacks for the rest of the season," Fox said. "Tony Pike hasn't had a rep in the National Football League in a regular season game."
While Moore's status is up in the air depending on an MRI he's scheduled to have today, Fox was clear he'd start if well.
"He can operate our offense the best of the quarterbacks," Fox said, "unless we decide to go with the wishbone or some kind of option offense."
That leaves the door open for rookie receiver Armanti Edwards, though Fox was quick to point out he didn't think much of Edwards' potential at his day job.
"Depends on what position," Fox replied when asked about Edwards contributing next week. "Receiver right now, no. We'll be taking all of the help we can get as far as quarterback position moving the football moving forward."
Fox's frustration aside, the reality is Clausen will have a role in the future in Charlotte.
"There is no replacement for being out there and experiencing everything that I'm going through and the offense is going through," Clausen said.
"You can stand on the sidelines for so long but the more reps you get in a game action the more comfortable you feel.
"Once you play, you go back and watch the tape and from that point, you keep trying to progress."