4 offseason decisions that severely cost the Carolina Panthers in 2022

(Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports) Robbie Anderson
(Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports) Robbie Anderson /
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Carolina Panthers
(Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule /

Carolina Panthers didn’t fire Matt Rhule

The level at which the Carolina Panthers played for Matt Rhule and Steve Wilks was such an obvious difference. This was also the most damning indictment of all regarding the fired coach’s suspect methods.

Wilks had this team playing hard at the end of the season, battling on every snap no matter whether the game was meaningful or who was at quarterback. It became a completely revitalized operation once the interim came into the limelight.

Rhule was lost as an NFL head coach. That could not have been more obvious over the first five games in 2022.

From his starting lineups to in-game management, Rhule deserved to be fired after the 2021 campaign and Carolina should have had new leadership.

It is very easy to make the argument that if Wilks or any other capable head coach was in place to start the year, the Panthers win the NFC South. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were begging someone to take over all season long, even giving Carolina the chance to steal a playoff berth down the stretch.

Firing Rhule before the 2022 season should have happened. The fact David Tepper couldn’t see things clearly cost the Panthers a home playoff game.