Why are the Carolina Panthers constantly getting overlooked for prime-time games by the NFL after getting just one next season?
Although there has been some progress made by the Carolina Panthers this offseason where recruitment and strengthening problem areas are concerned, it takes much more than some intriguing potential to be considered for prime-time viewing.
Being from a small market makes things difficult at the best of times. But especially when there is no winning or consistent playoff appearances attached to the organization.
The Panthers have yet to experience back-to-back winning seasons since their inception. An absolutely extraordinary statistic and further proof of just what a rollercoaster it’s been for the team’s fanbase over a period spanning almost 30 years.
Perhaps the only time Carolina was legitimately generating national media attention prominently was in the mid-2010s. A time when Cam Newton was taking the league by storm and the Panthers had a team capable of entertaining and contending in equal measure.
Therein lies the problem.
It’s been a real struggle for the Panthers to find this combination. Especially since team owner David Tepper bought the franchise from Jerry Richardson and immediately stated that winning is all that matters.
If that is indeed the case, the billionaire has a funny way of showing it and has yet to enjoy a winning campaign to date.
Things have gotten even worse under Matt Rhule. A man that Tepper handed full roster control coupled with a seven-year, $62 million deal to get on board.
Carolina Panthers must work their way back into prime-time consideration
There is a disenchantment between the Panthers, fans, and the national media. No longer is there a Newton, Greg Olsen, Luke Kuechly, Steve Smith, or Thomas Davis – the roster now has young players that must carve out their own path.
Carolina will get the chance to stake its claim for more notoriety during their Week 10 home clash against the Atlanta Falcons, which will be shown on Amazon Prime Video. However, the entire season will be something of an audition to see just what this roster could be capable of moving forward.
Granted, the Panthers don’t have the history of a team like the Chicago Bears. But the presence of a promising quarterback in Justin Fields has obviously played a significant role in the NFC North outfit getting a substantial increase in national television time next season.
Much has been made about the process.
The seven-year plan.
But football fans across the country and those picking prime-time games are not fooled.
They have yet to be convinced by the product Carolina is putting on the field. Unless this changes, it’s hard to expect anything more than the bare minimum on a national scale.
Of course, winning would instantly shift this narrative. Something that would also provide the supporters with a hope that has been devoid within the organization in recent years.
What comes next this season is obviously going to come with franchise-altering implications one way or another.
Tepper would like nothing more than for the Panthers to be front and center in a similar fashion to what he sees transpiring in Dallas with Jerry Jones. If Rhule cannot provide this in the not-too-distant future, he might find someone that can.