Where do the Carolina Panthers go from here after disastrous 0-3 start?

The dream is slowly turning into a nightmare.

Frank Reich
Frank Reich / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

Where do the Carolina Panthers go from here after their disastrous 0-3 start to a campaign that came with plenty of optimism attached in 2023?

After an offseason full of hope and expectation, it's a very different story where the Carolina Panthers are concerned right now. That's sad to say after just three weeks, but it's the harsh reality, unfortunately.

The Panthers are 0-3 following their inept loss at the Seattle Seahawks. It was the same old story for Frank Reich's men, who couldn't get much going on either side of the football until it was too late and played with a complete lack of discipline - especially on the offensive line.

Carolina Panthers hopes are hanging in the balance

Mistakes are being made you wouldn't expect out of high schoolers, never mind seasoned professionals making millions. Fans are also right to expect more from a coaching staff put together at great expense by team owner David Tepper once Reich got the top job.

This long-suffering fanbase has every right to be upset. Not because the team is underachieving - which they are - it's because general manager Scott Fitterer stated countless times throughout the offseason that the Panthers were ready to drop in a quarterback and take off.

Obviously, that's not the case.

And here was me thinking the snake oil salesman departed after Week 5 of the 2022 season.

So what comes next for the Panthers? Sunday's game against the Minnesota Vikings at Bank of America Stadium is of critical importance and anything less than a win would be disastrous to the team's fortunes in the short and potentially long-term.

Mistakes are plentiful currently. But Reich is confident everyone remains together while also acknowledging the need to fix individual errors based on his comments via the team's website.

"I do know this, I do know in this locker room there's two things that are going to happen. One, there is belief, and number two, there will be no finger-pointing. That's not going to happen. We're each going to own our mistakes, man up to our mistakes. We understand that the mistakes are collective, coaches and players together, we've got to get better. But we each individually have to look at our specific area in a way that we can individually get better as well."

Frank Reich via Panthers.com

The Panthers are two or three losses away from some tough decisions. They don't have a first-round selection in 2024 after their trade to land quarterback Bryce Young, so Fitterer might start looking for ways to recoup capital with the franchise going absolutely nowhere fast.

Many are hitting the panic button right now, which is understandable after what's transpired to date. However, there are 14 games and a lot of football left to play, so time is on the Panthers' side in their quest to put a decent campaign together.

Easier said than done with injuries piling up and morale seemingly sapping from the stands. But possible providing there is the right sort of characters within the locker room.

Life is full of setbacks. The Panthers have suffered more than most in recent years, but it's all about how they get back up and fight under this new coaching regime.

Beating the Vikings would be a good start. It also helps there is a bye week upcoming, which is a chance to heal up, regroup, and assess what more needs to be done to finally get this once-proud organization trending in the right direction.

Some serious self-reflection is needed from top to bottom. Then, and only then, will things begin to improve.