The rollercoaster ways of the Ron Rivera’s Carolina Panthers continued this past season. Which direction is this talented team headed in this year?
The specter of inconsistency has haunted the Carolina Panthers since the team’s inception dating back to 1995. The team got off to a very respectable 7-9 start in its debut year. One season later, head coach Dom Capers had this club one victory away from the Super Bowl, falling to the Green Bay Packers in the NFC title game at Lambeau field.
Fast forward to today, where head coach Ron Rivera and quarterback Cam Newton both joined the franchise in 2011. And the ups and downs continue with this club. And to date, the Panthers have still not finished with consecutive winning seasons in 24 campaigns on the field.
Here is how the complete schedule, week-by-week, lays out for the Carolina Panthers:
Week 1: vs. Los Angeles Rams
Week 2: vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Thurs.)
Week 3: at Arizona Cardinals
Week 4: at Houston Texans
Week 5: vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Week 6: at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (London)
Week 7: BYE
Week 8: at San Francisco 49ers
Week 9: vs. Tennessee Titans
Week 10: at Green Bay Packers
Week 11: vs. Atlanta Falcons
Week 12: at New Orleans Saints
Week 13: vs. Washington Redskins
Week 14: at Atlanta Falcons
Week 15: vs. Seattle Seahawks
Week 16: at Indianapolis Colts
Week 17: vs. New Orleans Saints
In essence, it’s been an offseason of transition for this club. Center Ryan Kalil and defensive end Julius Peppers have opted for retirement The Panthers expressed no desire to bring back outside linebacker Thomas Davis and instead of opting for retirement, the veteran defender signed with the Los Angeles Chargers. And wide receiver Devin Funchess entered free agency and joined the Indianapolis Colts.
A year ago, the Panthers got off to a 6-2 start but slumped badly and wound up winning only one more game the remainder of the season. The team has been fairly quiet this offseason in terms of signing free agents, adding center Matt Paradis, pass rusher Bruce Irvin and wide receiver Chris Hogan. But the club has four selection in the Top 100 in April’s draft so stay tuned.