Instead, the football fates of Carolina have come crashing to the ground with the Panthers all but eliminated from playoff contention at 1-6.
Two years into his tenure as head coach, Ron Rivera has found his head on the chopping block.
His breakout quarterback is mired in a classic sophomore slump, his defense can't stop anyone and his special teams are mediocre at best.
So, is it time to start looking at who might be next in line in Carolina? Why, of course it is.