The Carolina Panthers entered the 2012 season with lofty goals and an optimistic fanbase. After five games, their preseason goals appear unreachable, and the fanbase has grown more pessimistic with each loss.
Cam Newton, who won the Rookie of the Year award last year, has looked lost in three of the team's losses and is in the midst of a sophomore slump.
Injuries have slowed Jonathan Stewart, Jon Beason and Chris Gamble at various points, and their absences have hurt the team.
Head coach on Rivera was supposed to lead the Panthers to relevance this season, but thus far the team hasn't even scratched the surface of mediocrity.
With four losses already, the Panthers find themselves four games behind the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC South. In the blink of an eye, the Panthers have lost any realistic chance of winning the division.
While Carolina faces an uphill battle if it hopes to contend for a playoff spot, it is possible if everything from this point on goes off without a hitch.