For a lot of teams, I have gone into various reason as to why a team is not going to win the Super Bowl. The reason that I am giving the Panthers is exclusive to them, and them alone:
Head coach John Fox.
The Carolina Panthers are in a state of stale right now. I believe that the Panthers made the right move in allowing Julius Peppers to leave. He wanted too much money, and he is not consistent enough to warrant the type of contract he got in Chicago.
Allowing Jake Delhomme to leave was also a great move, because Matt Moore has the potential to be a franchise QB. (Even drafting Jimmy Clausen was a great pick up, as late as he was drafted).
When the Carolina Panthers first came into existence, they were being molded like the Pittsburgh Steelers. Many former Steelers, (Greg Lloyd, Kevin Green) were brought in.
If you are going to model your franchise, why not do it after one of the most successful franchises in the NFL?
The man who was coaching the Steelers when the Panthers were born, just happens to live in North Carolina, and he loves it there.
Bill Cowher is one of the most successful coaches in the NFL. Every year, there are coaching vacancies that Cowher is named to be a potential replacement. And every year, Cowher says, "No thanks."
Could it be that Cowher is waiting for the ax to fall on Fox? I wouldn't be surprised.
Cowher is a great coach, and he is waiting for the perfect opportunity to make his return to the NFL. That "perfect" location is with the Panthers.
Fox is on borrowed time with the Panthers. You know it, I know it, and so does he.
He is just playing out his contract, and he does not have the passion or fire to lead this team any further than he has, and that just is not good enough.
My prediction: Carolina will win a couple games, but when things start to go bad, they are going to go bad fast.
The Panthers finish the season with a 6-10 record, third place in the NFC South.