Just a few weeks ago, the Carolina Panthers appeared to be a lock to make the playoffs. They were 6-2 and in firm control of the No. 5 seed in the NFC.
But three straight defeats have followed, beginning with a 52-21 clobbering at the hands of the Pittsburgh Steelers and continuing with one-score losses to the Detroit Lions and Seattle Seahawks. As a result, the Panthers are currently on the outside looking in when it comes to the playoff picture.
On Sunday, the Panthers’ 10-game home winning streak was snapped in a 30-27 loss to the Seahawks. Carolina is now 6-5 with the most difficult part of its schedule looming.
The Panthers hit the road over the next two weeks for games against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Cleveland Browns. Then they close the season with two games against the New Orleans Saints and a matchup with the Atlanta Falcons sandwiched in between.
Unfortunately for the Panthers, their chances of winning the NFC South are slim to none. They are four games behind the 10-1 Saints in the division with only five games to play. And when it comes to the wild-card picture, the Seahawks and Redskins are also 6-5 but both teams hold the head-to-head tiebreaker with Carolina.
Obviously, it’s going to be far from an easy task for the Panthers to qualify for the playoffs for the fifth time in six years. If that is to happen, they’re going to have to fix the problems that have plagued them in recent weeks.
Here are the three biggest concerns for the Panthers after their Week 12 loss to the Seahawks.
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