If the Jaguars were among the biggest disappointments in 2018, the Carolina Panthers’ second-half efforts during the regular season should rank No. 1 in that category.
For a slew of reasons, the Panthers went 1-7 over that stretch, completely falling out of playoff contention and raising all kinds of concerns about the future of head coach Ron Rivera and his staff.
If it’s any consolation, Rivera is staying. That’s probably a good thing for now, but another bad year in Carolina could mean the end for the head coach.
The Panthers have problems on defense and will need to upgrade the pass rush, especially after losing veteran EDGE Julius Peppers to retirement. And that secondary needs to get a lot better, too.
Yet the majority of focus will be on quarterback Cam Newton and running back Christian McCaffrey. Those two are cornerstone pieces, and it’s good the Panthers have both. Heck, they’re the combined reason why Carolina stays this high in our NFL power rankings after the Super Bowl.