Last night, the Panthers’ disappointing season only grew worse with a 40-7 thrashing in Seattle. Granted, the Seahawks are a perennial Super Bowl contender, and going into the Pacific Northwest in the later weeks of the season is always difficult. But reigning MVP Cam Newton was benched to start the game for violating the team dress code, and the reigning NFC Champs fell to 4-8.
Head Coach Ron Rivera is one of the smartest minds in all of football. Let’s not forget that, just last season, the Panthers only lost two games all season long, which is a huge accomplishment (regardless of whether they won the Lombardi Trophy or not). But here we sit now. Carolina didn’t lose any big names in the offseason except for Josh Norman, who, great as a zone corner as he is, was one piece of an outstanding defense. I get they’ve dealt with injuries, but there’s simply no reason for this team to have fallen off a cliff.
I think Carolina should move on from Coach Rivera. I don’t even necessarily think that it’s his fault, but I think he’s lost the team. The Panthers are full of egos and large personalities, and those take a toll on any coach. It sucks that it falls to the head coach, but obviously it’s easier to replace a coach than to blow up a roster and start over.
The Panthers mathematically have a shot at the postseason, but don’t expect to see them there. I think they can rebound next year, because there’s no doubting the talent. But I think they should do so without Coach Rivera. Both sides would benefit from a change of scenery.
What do you think? Should the Panthers and Ron Rivera move on from each other?
Cover photo from inc.com.