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Carolina Panthers

Winners and Losers – Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Carolina Panthers rolled into Tampa bay and dropped what could be the most heartbreaking loss of the season. I say what could be because there have been so many I would need to go back and check my notes. I feel safe in saying it is at least a top two heart breaker. I’ll get back to you.

Winners

Christian McCaffrey continues to be one of the premier up and coming players in this league. He deserves a pro bowl selection, of that there is no doubt. Without him, the Carolina Panthers would likely be looking at three wins today.  106 yards on 10 carries and adding 55 receiving yards is another performance worthy of praise.

David Tepper was a winner yesterday. Let me explain. I am of the opinion that when a new owner enters the NFL, he wants to quickly place his own thumb print on the team. This usually means bringing in his own people at the highest levels. However, this must be done delicately as not to offend the fans.

Tepper now has permission from the vast majority of the fan base to clean house and they will love him that much more for it. For this reason, Tepper comes out ahead on Sunday in the long term. Sure, losing stinks. But the prospect of surrounding yourself with your own people has to be exciting.

Losers

Cam Newton conceded the final Hail Mary throw. That fact alone should scare the bejesus out of Carolina Panthers fans. We don’t know yet the extent of Cam’s shoulder soreness, but we can safely assume he will be icing it all day today. Cam was harassed for most of the day and took more punishment than any other game this season. I am not all too concerned about his long term prospects for the Carolina Panthers, but I do wonder if it is worth playing him next week in Cleveland.

Word hit the streets that Ron Rivera was on the hot seat with David Tepper just before yesterday’s game. Five hours later their is more doubt about Rivera’s future with the Carolina Panthers than ever. Luckily for Ron, there is no coach underneath him that would deserve or want the interim head coach designation. Norv Turner likely doesn’t want the responsibility and Eric Washington doesn’t deserve it. Carolina may have no choice but to ride Rivera out until January.