It's now do or die for the Panthers this season. We have known for a while now that both John Fox and Jerry Richardson are in danger of being given the pink slip if this year the Panthers don't make the playoffs. But what will happen if a new coaching staff is to take over. I believe that if this is Fox's last season we will also see the departure of Jake Delhomme, of Julius Peppers, and possibly of Steve Smith, among many others lower names amongst the roster.
The Panthers are already being heavily criticized by fans for the Steve Smith altercation leading to a two game suspension for the wide receiver. To those fans out there criticizing Fox, SHUT UP. He is on the hot seat and will not let one player, no matter the star potential, take him to the unemployed office. I think the suspension is perfect.
Now believe me I am a die hard Panthers fan, but in week one the Panthers play San Diego and will likely lose. In week two they play the Bears and if my predictions are correct they will win and the Bears will be the worst team in the league. So not having Smith for those two games won't change the result. However, once Smith returns I have the Carolina Panthers finishing the season at a better 9-7 record. Just missing the wild-card. Now this can go either way.
Fox had division clinching potential and blows it, he's gone. But if they win their last games and finish just missing the playoffs, he might be safe. So for right now all you Panther fans need to calm down because the seat is not as hot as everyone thinks right now.