No. 5: Ron Rivera, Carolina Panthers
Gosh, it sure seems a long time ago we saw the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50, doesn’t it. That squad, led by eventual league MVP, quarterback Cam Newton, dominated the league on offense and boasted one of the better defenses in the NFC, too. Only the Denver Broncos’ stout defense prevented the Panthers from hoisting their first ever Lombardi Trophy.
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Newton is still there, of course, and he has been assisted by up-and-coming running back Christian McCaffrey, who enjoyed a breakout 2018 campaign. But that doesn’t eliminate the fact Carolina went from a 6-2 start last year to losing the next seven of their remaining eight games.
During that losing stretch, the Panthers averaged a mere 19.5 points per game, too.
That shouldn’t bode well for offensive coordinator Norv Turner, either.
Granted, there are some player shortcomings on both sides of the ball in Carolina. But that doesn’t change the fact Rivera has boasted just three above-.500 campaigns during his eight-year tenure (2013, 2015 and 2017). And while he’s made the playoffs four times during that stretch, one came amid a weak NFC South and with a 7-8-1 record in 2014.
If the Panthers don’t wind up bouncing back after an ugly finish in 2018, it wouldn’t be shocking to see Carolina change up the direction once 2019 is over.