The Carolina Panthers entered Week 13 with a losing record, a three-game losing streak, and a chance to turn things around.
Instead of winning against the 2-9 Redskins at home, they took a brutal 29-21 loss, sending them to 5-7 on the year and well out of the playoff picture.
They’ve been plagued with under-performance all year long under Ron Rivera’s leadership, and after losing to such an abysmal team in Washington on their own turf, it’s time for the Panthers to show him the door and cease the backslide.
Teams lose every week in the NFL, but losing to the 2019 Washington Redskins is nothing short of a fireable offense.
Entering Sunday, they were proud owners of the league’s worst scoring offense and a bottom-10 defense that was allowing 24.5 points per game. It should have been an easy win for the Panthers.
But Rivera and Co. did nothing right. After jumping out to a 14-0 lead, the Panthers allowed the Redskins to score the next 29 points of the game.
It wasn’t until inside of the two-minute warning that the Panthers finally found the end zone again, but by that point, it was far too little, far too late. Even after recovering an onside kick, they still couldn’t make anything out of it.
It’s a signal of gross ineptitude on the part of Rivera. He hasn’t made a single adjustment to pull the Panthers out of this slide. He’s the reason for their continued struggles, even after the team appeared to have weathered Cam Newton’s absence early. When the rest of the league zigged on Allen, Rivera had no zag left, and has allowed to defense to regress to the point where it has become decrepit. They’ve gotten an MVP season from Christian McCaffrey. It hasn’t been nearly enough.
If Carolina wants to move on from this culture of disappointment, then they need to start by letting go of Rivera. It’s time to stop holding onto his anomaly of a 15-1 season in 2015. It’s time to let go.