The Carolina Panthers’ loss to the New Orleans Saints

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  • zhangzk
    March 10, 2019 at 11:29 pm #2044

    Football did more than end their dream of going to the playoffs , it ended their quest to post back-to-back winning seasons for the first time in franchise history. While there is technically a less-than-one-percent chance that the Panthers could fall ass backwards into the playoffs, Eric Reid has a better chance of not getting selected for another ‘random’ drug test than the Panthers do of making it in. Falling short of a winning record, on the other hand, is now an absolute certainty. The best record they can hope for on the season is 8-8. That is to say, as middling as it gets.We talk about this ignominious piece of franchise history frequently because it is a hallmark of the only true identity this franchise has ever had: inconsistency. The playoffs are gone and that is news. A once promising season deserves to be mourned. Blame has earned its right to be cast with abandon. But the last thing that Panthers fans can be right now is surprised. This is who their team has always been.Breaking from this tragic see-saw that has only seen the Panthers post winning records in even years twice in franchise history —1996 and 2008— has been on the minds of Panthers fans for years. Ron Rivera has been the best coach in franchise history. Cam Newton has rewritten the record books at quarterback. Neither of them has been able to push the Panthers off their totter towards sustained success.Depending on how the final two games play out, this season will be the Panthers’ third time going 6-10, their second time going 7-9 Youth Luke Kuechly Jersey , or their first time going 8-8 under Cam and Rivera. An 8-8 record would be good for their fourth-best season record in eight years. They have also gone 11-5, 12-4, and 15-1 with a league MVP and two coach of the year awards along the way. These are highly talented people who have seen success at all but the highest heights of their professions. They have also been part, as either actors or witnesses, of the Panthers’ inconsistency.Marty Hurney has also been responsible for much of this legacy. He has overseen twelve years of Panthers’ drafts, free agency strategies, and coaching decisions. This includes four of Rivera’s seasons. Much of today’s talent was drafted by Hurney during his first tenure as Carolina’s General Manager. There is no such thing as a simple picture of competence or ineptitude for any members of this team’s leadership.David Tepper is new to all of this. He has preached the virtue of patience as learned in Pittsburgh. He also isn’t working with people who are new to the job. Maybe he is patient for one more year. Maybe he thinks Rivera has peaked. Maybe he thinks it isn’t a coincidence that the Panthers most successful run —2013-2015 , featuring three playoff teams and a Super Bowl appearance— happened when Hurney was no longer in control of the team.Nobody really knows what Tepper is going to do with this team in 2019 or beyond. All we do know is that the Carolina Panthers have been, for 23 seasons, the very definition of inconsistency. Cam’s MVP season and present injury should shield him from any organizational changes. Rivera and Hurney have few such excuses. They have shown who they can be. Tepper’s task this offseason is to determine how those men fit into his vision for this franchise and whether or not they can fit together.Panthers’ fans are thirsty for back-to-back winning seasons. It is a moral victory of the most irrelevant kind. 2020 is now the earliest opportunity they can see that. If change is inevitable then 2019 is the year to do it. Get a better management team to build Rivera a more complete roster. Get a coach that values winning over tradition. If Newton has to sit a year to get his shoulder right then do it now before he damages it further. This is the year to do something to disrupt their hapless flirtations with success. Every year patiently waited is a year wasted on the end of Cam’s career.This team, as built, has been dancing back and forth for years. Just because they step forth next year doesn’t mean we won’t expect them to step back the year after. It is who they are. The nature of their inconsistency means that these Panthers are close to being a good team. The whole building doesn’t have to be burned to the ground to tilt their balance, you just have to add a little weight to one side and let the gravity of their talent do the rest.Trai Turner OUT, Donte Jackson IN for Panthers; Joe Mixon and Billy Price OUT for Bengals The Panthers and Bengals have named their inactive players for today’s game Cheap Trai Turner Jersey , and both teams will be without key players on offense. The Panthers are missing guard Trai Turner, wide receivers Damiere Byrd and Curtis Samuel, and tight end Greg Olsen. The Bengals will be without running backs Joe Mixon and Thomas Rawls, and center Billy Price.Cornerback Donte Jackson—who was listed as doubtful throughout the week—is expected to play for the Panthers today. Also active for the Panthers are recently signed cornerback Josh Hawkins and defensive end Efe Obada. Here are the inactive players for both teams:Panthers inactivesTE Greg OlsenWR Curtis SamuelG Trai TurnerWR Damiere ByrdLB Andre SmithDE Marquis HaynesCB Lorenzo DossBengals inactivesRB Joe MixonC Billy PriceWR Auden TateRB Thomas RawlsLB Preston BrownOL Cedric OgbuehiDL Michael Johnson

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