4 Carolina Panthers on the hot seat entering Week 12 at Titans

The pressure is building...

Brian Burns
Brian Burns / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
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Brian Burns - Carolina Panthers OLB

Being on the hot seat isn't necessarily down to job status or insecurity. It can sometimes mean a huge effort is needed from that particular individual in pursuit of victory.

That's exactly the case with Brian Burns. The star edge rusher remains the only consistent pass-rushing presence for the Carolina Panthers within Ejiro Evero's 3-4 base defense, which is unacceptable when one considers how glaring a need this was before the campaign that didn't get addressed effectively whatsoever.

Burns has five sacks, 13 quarterback hits, and 15 pressures through nine games. However, he is the focal point of opposing protection schemes on almost every down, getting double or sometimes even triple-teamed to ensure his impact is minimal.

Whether the contract uncertainty is having lingering effects on Burns' output is another factor to consider. The Panthers have mismanaged this - and many other - situations terribly, which cannot help morale given the player's been nothing but a model professional throughout the process.

The Tennesse Titans are giving up 3.5 sacks per game this season - ranked No. 28 league-wide and just one spot ahead of the Panthers. This represents a huge opportunity for Burns to have the statement game many have been waiting for this season.