This article was written by ROB MAADDI, a writer for AP Pro Football.
The NFL’s most significant issues are examined by On Football on a weekly basis. For additional On Football insights, visit this page.
Frank Reich suffered the consequences of a team with insufficient skill and ability.
There are multiple factors that have contributed to the Carolina Panthers’ record of 1-10, one of which is inadequate coaching. However, even a legendary coach like Vince Lombardi would struggle to achieve success with this team.
The Panthers have failed to provide adequate support for their rookie quarterback, Bryce Young. Their offensive line is lacking and their skill position players are average at best.
The decision to dismiss Reich after only 11 games in his debut season was a hasty action by an owner who is notorious for lacking patience.
In the past 5 1/2 years, David Tepper has hired and gone through a number of coaches for the Panthers, including Ron Rivera, Matt Rhule, and Reich. There have also been interim coaches, such as Perry Fewell, Steve Wilks, and currently Chris Tabor. Tepper has had more coaches than the number of years he has been in charge.
On Monday, after Tabor assumed the role, the team’s quarterbacks coach Josh McCown and running backs coach/assistant head coach Duce Staley were both terminated.
“I am known for my remarkable patience outside of this game,” Tepper stated on Tuesday. “I hope to have a long-term presence here for 20-30 years.”
In 2018, Tepper acquired the Panthers after a successful 11-5 season under Rivera. However, the team has only achieved a record of 30-63 in the past five years.
According to Tepper, there are many factors that contribute to on-field success such as the team roster, strategy, and practice methods. However, there is room for improvement in all areas since the current performance on the field is not satisfactory.
Carolina’s choice to exchange two top draft picks, two second-round picks, and standout wide receiver D.J. Moore to Chicago for the first overall pick may have long-lasting repercussions for the team if Young is unable to improve. As he was not showing improvement under Reich’s leadership, Tepper acted swiftly to make a change.
Reich has a track record of success with young quarterbacks, as demonstrated by his role in guiding Carson Wentz to become an MVP contender in 2017 during the Philadelphia Eagles’ Super Bowl victory. He also played a crucial role in maximizing the potential of Nick Foles, who was named MVP of the Super Bowl that same year.
Tepper, Fitterer, and Reich are the only ones who know whether or not anyone preferred C.J. Stroud over Young. Reich stated that it was a group effort.
According to Tepper, all the coaches and scouts were in complete agreement and had strong beliefs at the time. They all preferred Bryce as their top pick and had a lot of confidence in their decision. While Tepper could have vetoed the choice, he chose to support the unanimous opinion of the coaches and scouts. He is completely confident in their selection and stands by their decision.
This would not be the initial instance where Reich did not acquire the desired quarterback, Stroud, if he had wanted him. Reich, who had a distinct starting quarterback for each of his five years in Indianapolis, stated to The Associated Press that he desired Wentz to return for a second season with the Colts in 2022.
During his sole season with Indianapolis, Wentz had 3,563 passing yards, 27 touchdowns, and just seven interceptions. However, he faced difficulties in the last two games which resulted in the Colts missing the playoffs with a record of 9-8. As a result, Wentz was traded to Washington and Matt Ryan was brought in. Unfortunately, this change did not have the desired outcome and Reich was let go after a 3-5-1 start.
Unfortunately, the Panthers do not appear to be a desirable landing spot for a successful head coach. However, Reich’s four-year contract guarantees his stability.
The 2022 NFL season saw the Buffalo Bills as the top pick to win the Super Bowl, but they ultimately suffered a defeat at home to Cincinnati in the divisional round. The team’s performance was overshadowed by the emotional impact of Damar Hamlin’s presence.
This was supposed to be the year where they finally brought everything together and achieved their long-awaited championship victory. The Bills entered this season with the third-highest odds of winning the Super Bowl, but their record is now at 6-6 after experiencing yet another defeat in a 37-34 overtime game against Philadelphia.
Despite performing well, Josh Allen still struggles with making costly turnovers. The team also struggled with 11 penalties during their game against the Eagles, along with dropped passes, communication errors, and numerous other mistakes.
However, despite their strong performance, the Bills were unable to secure a victory over their one-loss opponent. As they face difficult matchups against the Chiefs (8-3) and Cowboys (8-3) in the future, it may prove difficult for Buffalo to simply end the season with a winning record.
The Super Bowl will not feature a match between the Eagles and San Francisco 49ers, however, their NFC championship rematch on Sunday appears to be a showdown between the top two teams in the NFL.
The San Francisco 49ers, with a season record of 8-3, have recently achieved three consecutive wins, including impressive victories against Jacksonville and Seattle. They faced some setbacks after a strong start of 5-0, with several key players absent and resulting in three consecutive losses. However, the return of star wide receiver Deebo Samuel and standout left tackle Trent Williams provided support for Brock Purdy, Christian McCaffrey, and a dynamic offensive lineup. The team also gained defensive strength with the addition of Chase Young to their already formidable defense, although they have suffered the loss of two safeties in the span of two weeks. The most recent being George Odum tearing his biceps against the Seahawks, after the previous loss of All-Pro safety Talanoa Hufanga due to a knee injury that ended his season.
The Eagles, with a record of 10-1, recently achieved their most notable victory. They made a comeback against Buffalo on a shortened week, following a Monday night win against Kansas City in a rematch of the Super Bowl. Despite a difficult first half, Jalen Hurts displayed an MVP-worthy performance to lead Philly to victory over Buffalo.
The Eagles currently hold a two-game lead for the top spot in the NFC, giving them some room for mistakes. However, this matchup may foreshadow the conference championship game.
The NFL section on AP News can be found at https://apnews.com/hub/nfl.