Reporting Mark Yarbro
At the end of most seasons, teams can look back at a turning point or a key stretch and say “that’s where our season was decided.”
The Panthers have come upon that stretch in the next 4 weeks with road trips to Arizona, Minnesota, and Tampa Bay as well as a home game against St Louis. Go .500 or better in that period and you feel like you got a chance in the suddenly average NFC. Anything less, draft pick talk for the 2014 season begins and jobs become being talked about for many involved.
Beginning in week 9 with the Falcons, business on the Panthers schedule picks up with games against New England and Miami looming not to mention 2 matchups with NFC South leading New Orleans also on the docket. Not only is this a key stretch for the Panthers as far as 2013 goes, it is also, perhaps more importantly, the most important month in the tenure of Ron Rivera.
By some people’s accounts, Rivera staved off a firing by shutting out the Giants a few weeks ago at BOA stadium. A bad stretch in these 4 games could again get the vultures circling for Carolina’s head man.
The season might not be won in the next month, but it could be lost.
It remains to be seen if the 2013 season is the only thing that slips through the Panthers’ fingers if things don’t go well.