I think we can all agree that Carolina Panthers‘ head coach Ron Rivera is on the hot seat in 2013. After compiling a 13-19 record in his first two seasons in Carolina, fans want results in year three. Some would even say that Rivera is lucky to have gotten to year three, because the Panthers nearly tanked in 2012. Luckily, the team rebounded and finished strong to salvage a 7-9 record. Those seven wins saved Rivera’s job last year, but how many will it take this year?
There are no more excuses in Carolina. There’s enough talent and experience on the roster to make a run at the playoffs. Cam Newton is going into his third year as well, so you can no longer say he’s too young. The offense as a whole, is no longer a young unit. The defense on the other hand, is a bit on the younger side. The Panthers went defensive-heavy in this year’s draft, but at the same time, they selected some very talented prospects.
Ron Rivera has plenty to work with in 2013. This is not a team that lacks playmakers, or enough talent to make a run at the playoffs. It’s now just a matter of getting both sides of the ball to play up to their potential.
I don’t think there’s any way Rivera will keep his job he doesn’t have a winning record. It will take nine wins for the front office to at least consider not firing him. A losing, or .500 record is not going to cut it. This team will have to be in the playoff race, and go 9-7 for Rivera to have any legs to stand on. But the harsh reality is that 9-7, might not even be good enough to make the playoffs in this year’s NFC.
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