Rapid Reaction: Dolphins 24, Panthers 17

November, 19, 2009
11/19/09
11:32
PM ET

You can’t quite say the Carolina Panthers are done, but that’s mostly because six weeks remain in the season.

But the Panthers are very close to being done. Let’s do the math. They’re 4-6 and would pretty much have to run the table to have a real chance at a wild-card berth. If they go 5-1 in their final six, they’d be 9-7 and that’s not always good enough to get you into the playoffs.

So there’s almost no margin for error for the Panthers, but there are plenty of opportunities for errors. Just look at the remaining schedule, which includes the Jets, the Buccaneers, the Patriots, the Vikings, the Giants and the Saints.

Look at that list again and tell me you honestly think the Panthers can win five or six of those games?

The playoffs aren’t looking like a good chance to get to the playoffs. You know what that means? Probably the end of the John Fox era. Yeah, I think Fox is a good coach and he’s done some great things for the organization.

But the one thing Fox hasn’t done is have back-to-back winning seasons and ownership is well aware of that and losing patience. Fox led the Panthers to a 12-4 record in the regular season last year, but was upset in a home playoff game to Arizona.

He could have gotten back into good graces with another winning season and another playoff berth. It doesn’t look like that’s going to happen.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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