The Carolina Panthers were in a must-win situation when they traveled to CenturyLink Field to take on the NFC West leading Seattle Seahawks. After making the Super Bowl last year, Carolina's play has been incredibly underwhelming. They are in last place in the NFC South and needed a win in Seattle to have any hopes of returning to the playoffs.
Head coach Ron Rivera seems to have lost the locker room including 2015 MVP QB Cam Newton. When the Panthers lined up for their first play on Sunday night, the football world all seemed to be scratching their heads. Instead of starting perhaps the best player in the league at quarterback, coach Rivera elected to play second stringer Derek Anderson. On the very first snap, Anderson proceeded to throw an interception, which led to a Seahawks field goal. This set the tone in what ended as a 40-7 blowout loss and perhaps the end of the Panthers' season.
We later learned that Newton was benched for the first drive because he did not follow the team's dress-code policy. Yes, you heard that correctly. Newton was benched because he did not wear a tie; he wore a turtle neck instead. What if Newton wore a tie over a tank top? Would he have started the game? This was most definitely the most ridiculous coaching decision of the season. Good job Ron Rivera. Your time in Carolina could be coming to an end sooner than you think.