Carolina Panthers

Until the end of the season, and even at the start of the off-season, there is going to be a lot of talking heads giving their opinion on the job status of Matt Rhule, who is struggling to adjust to life in the NFL, as he is only 10-22 in his brief NFL career. There are many people who think Rhule should be fired, after only two seasons on the job, then there are others that aren't of the opinion he should be let go. One of those people happens to be a columnist for The Charlotte Observer, Scott Fowler who wrote a piece after Sunday's loss, saying that Rhule doesn't need to be fired. He joined Wilson & Norfleet earlier today to explain why that is:

Former Panthers DE Al Wallace joined Kyle Bailey for Monday’s edition of the Clubhouse as he directed the problems for the Panthers after losing to Tampa Bay and the uncertain direction this team faces going into 2022. Kyle first asked Al what he thinks the mood is in the locker room after falling to 5-10 […]

From a 3-0 start, to the hot seat, it has been a very trying season for Panthers HC Matt Rhule, who is still trying to prove he belongs in the NFL. The Panthers have lost 10 of their last 12 games and were officially eliminated from playoff contention with yesterday's 32-6 loss to the Tampa Bay Bucs. The recent losing streak has brought into question the job status of Matt Rhule, who signed a seven-year, $63 million dollar contract just two seasons ago, and yet is only 10-22 in the NFL. Panthers beat reporter for The Charlotte Observer joined Wilson & Norfleet earlier today, and offered this opinion as to why it would make sense to move on from Rhule: "You look at his record in November and December for the past two years, and you worry about momentum, like where is this headed. Why isn't this team building towards success?" What kept John Fox and Ron Rivera in Charlotte for extended periods of time, were successful ends to seasons, that show glimpses of hope for the future, which were proven true as the Panthers would make the Super Bowl under both Fox and Rivera. Matt Rhule is still searching for his first signature win in the NFL, something that if you don't have after two seasons in the NFL, doesn't lend well to your long-term future. 

The Panthers playoff hopes are officially done as of Sunday after a blowout 32-6 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the team's home finale for the 20212 season. The team was dominated from start to finish by a Bucs team that was as beat up as any team that the Panthers have faced this season, allowing 391 yards of total offense, 6.3 yards per play and 159 yards on the ground, all while facing a team that was without their leading rusher and their top two receivers. Meanwhile, the Panthers continued their struggles offensively, totaling just 273 of total offense and somehow only putting six points on the board in this one.

CHARLOTTE – The Tampa Bay Buccaneers clinched the NFC South with a divisional win over the Carolina Panthers, as the home team closed their slate at Bank of America Stadium with a 32-6 defeat. Carolina lost for the fifth consecutive game and sixth straight at home, failing to win a game in Charlotte after the […]

The Carolina Panthers have their work cut out for them on Sunday, as they will host the defending Super Bowl champions, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in their home finale of the 2021 season. Tampa is coming off a 9-0 loss to division rival, the New Orleans Saints on Sunday Night Football, but are 10-4, and still in the hunt for the #1 seed in the NFC. Meanwhile, the Panthers limp in with a 5-9 record, having lost 9 of their last 11 games. On Sunday the Panthers are going to use both Cam Newton and Sam Darnold, at the QB spot, as ever since October, Carolina has suffered injuries and inconsistent play at the sport's most important position. That doesn't bode well for their upcoming game, as Tampa has one of the better defensive units in the NFL. To find out what makes the Tampa defense so good, Anthony Becht joined Wilson & Norfleet earlier today, and offered this take: "They play with intense speed, and they get to the football. They really do pursue to the ball very quickly. In those down and distances (situations) when they need to put pressure on the quarterback, to speed the process up they can do that. " That doesn't bode well for an offensive line that has struggled all season long to keep their quarterbacks clean in the pocket or establish any dominance in the run game. Even with this game being in Bank of America Stadium, it is going to take the best effort of the season to stay competitive with the Bucs, let alone earn a much needed win on Sunday.

There are still 3 weeks left in the NFL regular season, but it is never too early to start about the 2022 NFL Draft, especially with the Panthers sitting at 5-9, with a lot of questions both on and off the field. NFL Draft writer for Yahoo Sports Eric Edholm released his latest mock draft yesterday, and he has the Panthers selecting Pittsburgh QB Kenny Pickett with the number seven pick. Pickett is coming off a career year, leading Pittsburgh to an ACC title, and an appearance in the Peach Bowl. Edholm joined Wilson & Norfleet earlier today, and when asked why he has the Panthers taking Pickett he replied:  "He really did put it all together this year and did play at a much higher level. I feel like it was a perfect storm with his experience paying off. Being in that system in another year. There was just so much to like" It doesn't a rocket scientist to see after this season where the Panthers have started three different quarterbacks, that they need to find a franchise quarterback if Matt Rhule wants this thing to last in the NFL. There is still a long way to go before the NFL Draft commences, but Pickett is going to be a prospect to monitor closely leading up to the draft. 

It's no secret that the Panthers have two major question marks personnel-wise moving forward that the team still has to address, the left tackle and the quarterback positions. Left tackle is a spot where Panther fans have grown frustrated by the fact that the team hasn't taken many risks and has tried to solve the position with band-aid instead of a long-term fix. The quarterback position is an area where the team has been more aggressive, but simply has swung and missed on the three quarterbacks that they have acquired since Matt Rhule's arrival two years ago.

The Carolina Panthers have lost 9 of their last 11 games, and after a 3-0 start, they sit at 5-9 and are virtually out of the playoff picture. The recent losing streak which extended to four games on Sunday in Buffalo has raised the question of Matt Rhule's job security in Carolina after this season. Rhule, who signed a seven-year, $63 million dollar contract roughly two years ago, is 10-20 in the NFL. Despite his struggles in the league, he was sought after for all the premium openings in college football, but never really considered leaving. There's no denying that Matt Rhule was David Tepper's guy, remember he out-bid the New York Giants for Rhule's services, and even visited Rhule's house to interview him, and offer him the job. During the struggles of this season in particular, Tepper has been very quiet, which hasn't eased any concerns Rhule may be having. Joe Person from The Athletic joined Wilson & Norfleet, and had this to say on the matter: "It feels like this is a franchise were somebody needs to say something. Everything I keep hearing is that Rhule is probably safe" Tepper has only made a handful of public comments in the last year or so, but this feels like the appropriate time to hear from the NFL's richest owner, as his franchise is currently suffering from the fourth consecutive losing season, the first time that has ever happened in the history of the Carolina Panthers. 

The Carolina Panthers could not overcome the loss of kicker Zane Gonzalez to a pregame injury, as the Buffalo Bills prevailed with a 31-14 victory Sunday in Buffalo. Gonzalez injured his quad while attempting a kick during the pregame warmups, significantly altering how the Panthers handled the kicking duties. Carolina didn’t attempt a single field […]