4 Carolina Panthers on the hot seat in Week 17 at Buccaneers

(Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports) C.J. Henderson
(Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports) C.J. Henderson /
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Which Carolina Panthers are firmly on the hot seat heading into their crucial Week 17 encounter with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers?

The time for heroes is almost upon us as the Carolina Panthers can seize command of the NFC South with at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 17. Nobody expected them to be in this scenario when Matt Rhule was fired, but a strong run of results at the right time means there is still all to play for.

Carolina is 4-2 over its last six games and 3-1 in their previous four. Steve Wilks is masterminding a real renaissance across the organization, so hopes are high in the face of Tom Brady and the Buccaneers this weekend.

Everything has to go well, one suspects. It’s also worth remembering that the Panthers have won just once on their travels this season, which was a stunning triumph at the Seattle Seahawks.

With playoff football within reach for the first time since 2017, we picked out four Panthers on the hot seat in Week 17 at Raymond James Stadium.

Panther No. 1

Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Ben McAdoo /

Ben McAdoo – Carolina Panthers OC

In fairness to Ben McAdoo, his scheme on offense was much more like it in Week 16 against the Detroit Lions. It remains heavily dependent on the run, but the Carolina Panthers benefitted from giving Sam Darnold a little extra rope, which could mean there is growing confidence in the quarterback where the offensive coordinator is concerned.

Keeping up this level of consistency and also adapting to how what looks the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense is giving will be a stiff challenge for McAdoo. One that is likely to have a leading say in the outcome this weekend.