What Christmas crackers have emerged from an otherwise disappointing 2023 season where the Carolina Panthers are concerned?
Merry Christmas, everyone! On behalf of everyone at Cat Crave, I hope you all have the best time with your families on this special day. It's not been an easy season for the Carolina Panthers, but some festive crackers have emerged amid all the doom and gloom.
Those behind the scenes had high hopes this offseason. Bold claims of winning the NFC South and making some noise in the postseason were a testament to how pleased they were with recruitment. What followed was a pathetic run of form that eventually led to Frank Reich being fired as head coach.
Everyone is looking forward to seeing what comes next. David Tepper is on a damage control campaign with the media as severe questions are being asked of his ownership. The Panthers need to hit on every major hire or acquisition this time, or one would be hard-pressed to see how things will ever get better.
That's enough negativity on such a special date in the calendar. Here are three Christmas crackers from an underwhelming Panthers 2023 season.
Carolina Panthers ended the Desmond Ridder era
Wins have been hard to come by for the Carolina Panthers this season. They were on the brink of getting swept in the NFC South before digging deep to attain a much-needed victory over the Atlanta Falcons in Week 15.
This was satisfying for many reasons. It was another game-winning drive from Bryce Young. It showed how much fight remains within the locker room. More importantly, it all but ended the Falcons' chances of making the playoffs by winning the division.
The triumph was also enough to unofficially end the Desmond Ridder era in Atlanta. The quarterback's been benched after another ill-advised interception gave Young the chance to go downfield. Taylor Heinicke will start their remaining games this season. After that, the Falcons will likely look to free agency, the trade market, or the 2024 NFL Draft for a permanent figure under center.