4 things for Panthers fans to look forward to after the bye week

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) Christian McCaffrey
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) Christian McCaffrey /
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Carolina Panthers
(Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports) Shaq Thompson /

What can Carolina Panthers fans look forward to after the bye?

The Carolina Panthers didn’t manage to go into their bye week with two straight wins following a capitulation at the Minnesota Vikings, which probably means the break comes at the right time. This is a young group who have suffered their fair share of confidence knocks in close games and a period away from the game might do them the world of good down the stretch.

It doesn’t appear as if the Carolina Panthers have anything much to play for besides pride. They did look in postseason contention at one stage, but this has sadly tailed off into relative obscurity that many expected before the season got underway.

There is still plenty of intrigue between now and the end of the campaign. Some fringe players are fighting for their futures and other prominent starters could also be on the chopping block if they don’t buck up their ideas in the coming weeks.

Let’s take a look at four things that Panthers fans can look forward to once the team returns from a prolonged period of rest and reflection.

No. 1

Carolina Panthers
(Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports) Ron Rivera /

A Ron Rivera reunion

One of the more intriguing elements involving the Panthers after their Week 13 bye will be a reunion with Ron Rivera. Carolina will lock horns with their former head coach in Week 16 when they travel to the Washington Football Team and there could be more at stake on this one than was expected before competitive action began.

Rivera has got Washington on the right track and in contention for the NFC East title following their impressive win at the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving. But the overall standard of the division has a lot to do with it.

The Panthers won’t want the man they fired getting one over on them and boosting their postseason credentials in the process. On the flip side, Rivera will be eager to seek revenge and this will be a fascinating encounter.