After falling to 1-10 with a 17-10 loss to the Tennessee Titans in Week 12, the Carolina Panthers decided to fire head coach Frank Reich.
Special teams coordinator Chris Tabor will take over as the Panthers' interim head coach for the rest of the season.
It's the second straight season where Reich was fired in the middle of the campaign, as the Indianapolis Colts let him go after a 3-5-1 start to the 2022 season.
The Panthers hired Reich during the 2023 offseason to coach the top pick in the draft, quarterback Bryce Young, after Reich dealt with quarterback instability throughout his three-and-a-half year tenure as the head coach of the Colts.
Things did not go much better for Reich despite finally having an undisputed starter under center.
Young's NFL career has started far worse than he or his now former coach could have imagined: Young is tied for the league lead with three pick sixes thrown, he's been sacked 40 times which is good for the second most in the league, and his 61.7 completion percentage is among the league's worst.
Through Week 12, Carolina had the fourth-worst offense with 173 points scored and the fourth-worst defense with 292 points allowed. The Panthers' 1-10 record is the worst in the league, and their only win came against the Houston Texans in Week 8.
With 43 sacks allowed and neither one of running backs Chuba Hubbard or Miles Sanders having even decent seasons, the stats show that Carolina's offensive line is the biggest issue.
Adding insult to injury is the fact that the Panthers traded away this year's first-round pick to the Chicago Bears in order to move up from No. 9 to the top spot to draft Young. That selection is likely to be the No. 1 pick this time around, and the upcoming draft has four offensive tackles projected to be selected in the top 15 picks.
Considering the talent - or lack thereof - on the roster, it's not a mystery how the Panthers' season ended up the way it's going, and it's debatable how much responsibility should be put on Reich's shoulders.
Carolina currently holds just six picks in the 2024 NFL Draft, but the team is projected to have over $39 million in cap space in the coming offseason.
With the worst roster and record in the league and now having a head coaching vacancy, it's going to be a busy offseason for Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer.