Carolina Panthers: Matt Rhule has plenty at stake down the stretch

(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule
(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule /
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Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule /

Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule has plenty at stake down the stretch.

There might not be much to play for other than pride between now and the end of the 2020 season. But head coach Matt Rhule will not want the Carolina Panthers to go out with a whimper.

The former Baylor man has come across incredibly well during his first season with the Carolina Panthers, which began with the most disrupted offseason period in recent memory as COVID-19 concerns gripped the league.

This inevitably came with some early struggles before Rhule and the Panthers went on a three-game winning run that had plenty believing they could emerge as a surprise playoff contender in the initial stages of a pretty substantial rebuild.

Sadly, this now seems like a distant memory.

Carolina now finds itself with a 4-8 record and staring another high-end NFL Draft pick in the face next year. That wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world given how much more the team needs to do in pursuit of becoming a postseason contender once again, even though Rhule will not react well to a distinct lack of effort down the stretch.

The Panthers bet big that Rhule was the man to lead them back to prominence. It’s been an impressive start, but what comes next will be equally as important.