Up until this week, the only in-season head coach firing of the 2019 NFL season was Washington canning Jay Gruden. Washington’s surprising 29-21 road win over the Carolina Panthers last weekend has resulted in the second in-season departure.
The fading 5-7 Panthers have immediately relieved Ron Rivera of his head coaching duties. He’ll be replaced through the rest of this season by secondary coach Perry Fewell, whom Seattle Seahawks fans may remember when Fewell’s New York Giants defense gave up 350 yards to the Seahawks rushing attack in 2014. Rumor has it that Jason Pierre-Paul is still looking for Russell Wilson.
(Carolina’s run defense is 32nd, by the way)
Rivera leaves with a record of 76-63-1, taking Carolina to a Super Bowl appearance in 2015 and to the playoffs in 2013, 2014, and 2017. However, he never strung together consecutive winning seasons and this year’s struggles all but assure that it’ll be the first time since 2011-2012 that the Panthers have missed the playoffs in back to back years. With Cam Newton’s future in doubt for 2020, Carolina may be ready for a rebuild.
Seattle’s final road game of the regular season will be Week 15 at the Panthers. Rivera’s record against the Seahawks was just 2-6 (playoffs included), with an 0-4 regular season mark at home. Now he won’t get one more chance to topple Pete Carroll, because owner David Tepper has seen more than enough to pull the plug.