Carolina Panthers streak of underperforming seasons continues
A sixth straight loss guarantees one Carolina Panthers franchise streak will continue.
The Carolina Panthers have enjoyed a fair amount of success in a relatively short time period since their inception. First playing in 1995, the Panthers 2018 season is the twenty-fourth in franchise history but in that time the team has played in two Super Bowls, won the division six times and been to the playoffs on eight different occasions.
Their most successful span has been under current coach Ron Rivera with quarterback Cam Newton leading the offense. The first to win consecutive divisional titles, Carolina won three straight from 2013 to 2015, when they nearly completed a perfect season. The Panthers are 73-59-1 in the Rivera era, including three playoff wins.
However, Carolina has never posted consecutive winning seasons – not with Rivera at the helm or any other coach in history. Every time the Panthers enjoy a winning record, the next year is riddled with losses. Even a poor 7-8-1 record was sandwiched between 12-4 and 15-1 when they won the division in 2014 thanks to a terrible NFC South.
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The closest Carolina has ever come to snapping this unwanted streak is a middle of the road 8-8 record in 2006 and 2009. A loss on Monday night to New Orleans guarantees 2018 will at best face similar results.
Eight games in and with a favorable schedule remaining, the Panthers were 6-2 and poised to break the streak. Finishing last year at 11-5, the hot start to the year was a bit surprising given Carolina had new coordinators in every facet and an abundance of injury issues along the offensive line.
However, the health of Newton would end up being in the spotlight as he continues to deal with shoulder issues and the team faces a difficult decision about his playing time moving forward. Over the second half, Newton has thrown nine interceptions and the Panthers have failed to win a single game.
The six straight losses give Carolina eight on the year and guarantee this streak lives.