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The Panthers have been eliminated from playoff contention

One win and one loss by the wrong teams and Carolina’s postseason hopes have been finally dashed

Wild Card Round - Carolina Panthers vs New Orleans Saints
Pictured: The most recent Carolina Panthers playoff game
Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

As recently as last week we were all talking about the Carolina Panthers postseason chances. Sorry, chance. The team, then 1-10, had the hilarious opportunity to run the table and win the NFC South crown if the other three NFC South teams also lost nearly all of their remaining games. That opportunity no longer exists after the Atlanta Falcons beat the New York Jets and the Panthers lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last night. The New England Patriots are the only other team in the NFL to have been eliminated from the playoffs this season.

Already guaranteed a sixth consecutive losing season, the team has now punted its next potential playoff date to at least January of 2025.

Keeping abreast of the Panthers long playoff odds was one of the few joys that fans had last season after the firing of Matt Rhule. This year’s interim situationship is going to have a much harder time entertaining fans through the losses without this particular option.

Let’s put all jokes aside.

That’s easy to do because there is very little funny left around the Carolina Panthers. This team is going to be bad until it undergoes massive and successful change. No, simply firing the head coach 11 games into his tenure does not count. Nor is it sufficient simply to replace him. It is necessary for the Panthers to dwell on why they thought Reich was the future and on why he ultimately wasn’t.

It is necessary for the team, and really I do mean David Tepper here, to dwell on who is making, and who else is influencing, the decisions at the top of the organization. It will then be necessary for him to change, or hire people to change, nearly everything about how this organization operates. Until then, expect the results of every season to remain the same no matter how many surface level changes are made.