10 quick thoughts from the Panthers win vs. Lions in Week 16

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Terrace Marshall Jr.
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Terrace Marshall Jr. /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images) Steve Wilks /

Carolina Panthers control their fate

The Carolina Panthers control their own fate in terms of winning the NFC South. After beating the Detroit Lions, it’s one down, and two to go.

This is rapidly becoming one of the league’s most fascinating stories down the stretch. And the fact Carolina is in this position speaks volumes about the resolve Steve Wilks has installed into his group of players.

Steve Wilks is the Carolina Panthers’ head coaching frontrunner

It would take a brave man to deny that Wilks isn’t the official frontrunner to become Carolina Panthers head coach in 2023 based on what we’ve seen so far. Something not even the most optimistic Panthers fan envisaged after their 1-4 start.

His ability to lead, adjust, and inspire is leaving a hugely positive impression. This latest dominant victory should put him in pole position, although David Tepper will see what else is out there to comply with the Rooney Rule if nothing else.

Carolina Panthers never wavered from their blueprint

It would have been easy for the Panthers to go away from what’s worked previously after their loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. But they never wavered from the blueprint and picked up a crucial win as a result.

Running the football, displaying dominance in the trenches, and giving Sam Darnold just enough rope to make things happen. This is what’s making Carolina a force and when everything clicks into place like this, there isn’t much any defense can do to stop them.

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