Plenty of potential problems have been identified to explain the struggles of the Carolina Panthers. Here’s one that can’t be overlooked: The fumes of the 2015 season continue to hover over the franchise, five games in to 2016.

Tight end Greg Olsen hinted at what could happen in July, when he talked about the team going 1-4. When coach Ron Rivera talked repeatedly about his concerns that the Panthers would play the Broncos on the opening night of the season, part of the problem was that it would be impossible to move on from 2015 when the next year would begin with a much-hyped rematch of Super Bowl.

They could have exorcised the demons of 2015 with a win at Denver, which nearly happened. And while they rebounded with a convincing win over the 49ers, three straight losses have made the Panthers look nothing like the team that ran roughshod over the rest of the league last year.