Panthers part ways with head coach Matt Rhule after 1-4 start
Through the first five weeks of the 2022 season, the Carolina Panthers are off to a rough start holding a 1-4 record.
The Panthers’ quick fall into irrelevancy has pushed head coach Matt Rhule out of a job in his third year with the franchise. Carolina chose to part ways with Rhule in only the third year of his seven-year, $62 million contract.
The Panthers still owe their former head coach more than $40 million due over the remainder of his deal. Under Rhule, Carolina never became an offensive powerhouse as hoped as the former Baylor head coach never fulfilled that expectation.
The move to acquire former first-overall pick Baker Mayfield was seen as an addition that could help push the team in that direction, but it’s been anything but that. Mayfield has struggled to find his footing, as he hasn’t been an effective factor under center by any means through the first five weeks.
Mayfield ranks 23rd with 962 passing yards, tied for 23rd with four passing touchdowns, and last among starting quarterbacks with a 16.5 quarterback rating. Beyond that, the Panthers haven’t had any sustainable offensive production, tied for 24th with 18.6 points per contest, 27th in rushing, and 28th in passing.
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Carolina will move in a new direction, which puts Mayfield under the spotlight even further. His continued struggles could thrust Sam Darnold back into the starting lineup when he returns from injury.
In the meantime, the Panthers have become a rudderless ship looking for a jumpstart toward success.