5 Carolina Panthers on the hot seat in Week 10 vs. Falcons

(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) Damien Wilson
(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) Damien Wilson /
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Carolina Panthers
(Rob Schumacher/The Arizona Republic via IMAGN Content Services) Al Holcomb /

Al Holcomb – Carolina Panthers DC

The Carolina Panthers’ defense has not thrived as anticipated in the absence of Matt Rhule and Phil Snow. And further scapegoats were made following their cataclysmic performance at the Cincinnati Bengals.

Carolina’s cornerbacks’ coach Evan Cooper and defensive line guru Paul Pasqualoni parted ways with the organization, which interim head coach Steve Wilks was not a knee-jerk reaction to what transpired in Week 9. Just how much this could move the needle is unclear, but it’s hard to deny these two key positional groups are currently underperforming outside of one or two players.

Al Holcomb has a big job on his hands. He wants to mold the defense his way as the Panthers’ coordinator, but these pieces were brought into the franchise to fit in Snow’s scheme when it’s all said and done.

Aside from their outstanding display against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Carolina’s defense has been abysmal since Snow left the team. If the same happens again on Thursday Night Football versus the Atlanta Falcons, there won’t be anyone left to blame.

Much like the situation with Wilks, Holcomb could be fighting a losing battle. Picking this organization up from the brink of oblivion was a monumental challenge after Rhule was finally let go, but the Panthers have the personnel to be performing far better than they’re managing currently.