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NFL Carolina Panthers

5 Reasons Why The 1-3 Carolina Panthers’ Season Is Already Over

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5 Reasons Why The 1-3 Carolina Panthers' Season Is Already Over

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Matt Kartozian - USATODAY Sports

It’s not always fair to write off a football team after they’ve played just four games, but sometimes you’ve got to do it. This year, that’s the case with the Carolina Panthers. With a 1-3 record and their bye week being a distant memory, Carolina’s season is already over.

The Panthers were in a similar position last season, and they ended up reaching six losses before achieving their second win of the season. Although they ultimately finished the season strong by winning their final four games and five of their last six games, the Panthers were sunk by their bad start to the season. And history appears to be repeating itself this season with yet another bad start being their downfall.

It’s not as if Carolina’s schedule is particularly daunting for the rest of the season, but the damage has already been done. Some of the elite teams in the NFC have also gotten off to slow starts, but those teams all have the means to overcome a sluggish start and get the ball rolling the way they were expected to. Meanwhile, teams that are still trying to climb the NFC hierarchy, such as the Panthers, won’t be able to overcome a slow start to the season.

The Panthers had a chance to get off to a fast start, as they held a 4th quarter lead in their first two games but were unable to secure the win. In addition to their slow start and 1-3 record, here are five reasons why the Panthers’ season is already over.

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5. They Can't Win Close Games

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Jeremy Brevard - USATODAY Sports

Competitive teams can find a way to win close games, and the Panthers proved the first two weeks of the season that can’t do that. Carolina came close to pulling off an upset of the Seattle Seahawks in Week 1 but couldn’t close out the game in the final quarter. In Week 2 they kept giving the Buffalo Bills chances to beat them late in the game, and it ended up costing them. A good team would have won at least one of those games, but Carolina didn’t which is why the Panthers aren’t a good team and why their season is over at 1-3.

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4. New Orleans Saints

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Matt Marton - USATODAY Sports

Carolina’s season is already over because the NFC South is already spoken for. After five weeks, the Saints are 5-0 while the other three teams have combined for just two wins, meaning New Orleans has this division well in hand. As for the Panthers getting a wildcard spot, one spot will likely go to either the 49ers or Seahawks while the other wildcard spot is likely to come out of the NFC North, a division with three quality teams. If you think the Panthers could finish the season strong the way they did last year, think again; Carolina plays the Saints in two of the final four weeks of the season, which will certainly derail any late-season push the Panthers try to make.

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3. Ron Rivera Is Not A Good Enough Coach

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Bob Donnan - USATODAY Sports

At this point, Rivera is more or less a lame duck coach. He’s a fine defensive coordinator, but his record as a head coach is 14-21. He’s not going to out-coach many of his colleagues and it’s unlikely that he’ll be able to rally his team behind him and turn things around in an instant. Carolina needs to rattle off five or six wins in a row starting right now in order to have a chance, and Rivera is just not capable of doing that.

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2. Lack of Skill Players

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Matt Kartozian - USATODAY Sports

Greg Olsen is a good tight end, but he’s not the kind of tight end you want to be your leading receiver, which is the case with the Panthers. Steve Smith isn’t the player he used to be, and despite his great speed and special teams ability, Ted Ginn is rather ordinary as a wide receiver. Take away Cam Newton and the Panthers would have a mediocre running game. Bottom line, the Panthers don’t have the offensive skill players to keep up in a league that revolves around offense.

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1. Cam Newton Is Not A Winning Quarterback

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Matt Kartozian - USATODAY Sports

He may be a good player to have on your fantasy team, but Newton isn’t a winning quarterback in the NFL. He’s a selfish player that puts himself over the team, and he has almost as many turnovers as he does touchdowns this season. Newton is not somebody that’s going to rally his team after a 1-3 start, nor is he going to make winning plays on a consistent basis, which will make it impossible for the Panthers to string enough wins together to compete for a playoff spot.