4 Carolina Panthers on the hot seat entering Week 16 vs. Packers

The pressure is on these Carolina Panthers heading into Sunday's game...

Jonathan Mingo
Jonathan Mingo / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
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Which Carolina Panthers find themselves firmly on the hot seat entering their Week 16 game against the Green Bay Packers?

The Carolina Panthers have more confidence than arguably at any stage since before the campaign began. It's amazing what a win does for morale. Unfortunately for the franchise, they have just two of those this season after bolding claiming this roster was ready to drop in quarterback Bryce Young and take off.

Another harsh lesson learned for David Tepper, or so we'd hope. The Panthers don't have their first-round selection. Therefore, they'll be striving to end the campaign on a high and avoid the dubious distinction of handing over the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft to the Chicago Bears. That is their one remaining objective from a season littered with misery.

Carolina can also play the role of spoiler over their final three games. Each opponent is still fighting for playoff football. Denting their hopes would provide some solace that more profitable times might be ahead if Tepper hires the right people during the upcoming cycle.

That's for the future. For now, here are four Panthers on the hot seat entering Week 16 against the Green Bay Packers at Bank of America Stadium.

Cade Mays - Carolina Panthers OL

Sunday's game in torrential rain was arguably the best of Cade Mays' career. What's important for the interior offensive lineman is building on this newfound momentum with another strong showing versus the Green Bay Packers on Christmas Eve.

Mays is fighting for his future beyond the current campaign. One could argue he'll be kept around under the new regime as a cheap backup. But one would be hard-pressed to see a scenario where the protection in front of Bryce Young - especially at the guard positions - doesn't get reinforcements.

That makes it essential for Mays to put out good tape over the final three games to give himself a chance of involvement next time around. One good game won't do that. Consistency over a prolonged period is the only thing that counts.