Carolina Panthers at Buccaneers - Week 13
If the Carolina Panthers head into their divisional battle at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with a 1-10 record, it'll probably mean someone has been relieved of their duties. This would be an embarrassing turn of events for an organization and front office that held bold claims about playoff contention and winning the NFC South after becoming especially pleased with their movements throughout the offseason.
This one also has some added sentiment attached. Baker Mayfield will have revenge on his mind after his trade to the Carolina Panthers didn't go according to plan last season, resulting in the former No. 1 overall selection being released before finishing out the campaign with the Los Angeles Rams.
Tampa Bay has often gotten the better of Carolina in recent years. This had a lot to do with quarterback Tom Brady's arrival, but a monumental effort is needed if things end up unfolding in this concerning manner beforehand.
Prediction: Loss (1-11)
I long for the days when optimism returns. The Panthers seem to be taking one step forward and four back lately, which has sapped confidence almost completely and leaves the franchise facing the embarrassing prospect of giving up the No. 1 overall selection in the 2024 NFL Draft to the Chicago Bears.
Make no mistake, David Tepper is unlikely to take this lying down.