Have the Panthers officially hit rock bottom after Week 10 loss?

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Matt Rhule
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Matt Rhule /
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Carolina Panthers
(Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule /

Bye week bonus for the Carolina Panthers

The Carolina Panthers are no doubt desperate for their bye week to arrive. A long and strenuous season is starting to take its toll on a roster that isn’t exactly blessed with any great depth from a talent perspective.

One only has to look at the situation at the Minnesota Vikings to see what can be achieved during a bye week. Mike Zimmer’s men were on a road to nowhere with a 1-5 record, but they appear to be back in contention for an unlikely playoff spot after making some significant adjustments to the way the team approaches games on both sides of the ball.

This will be a big test for head coach Matt Rhule, who doesn’t have the same experience in a professional environment as Zimmer. The former Baylor man has made a promising start overall to his time at the next level, but if he was in any doubt as to the size of the task facing him in Carolina, the second-half effort against the Buccaneers should have clarified this in no uncertain terms.

The players need to be held accountable, of that there is little doubt. But this doesn’t get the coaching staff off the hook by any stretch of the imagination and just what we see after the bye week – whatever happens over the next two weeks – will tell us plenty about their ability to lead Carolina to where it wants to go.