Matt Rhule cashes as "First Coach Fired" in the NFL

By Adam Burke  ( 


The always popular “First Coach Fired” market has a winner, as the Panthers dismissed Matt Rhule after another ugly performance in the loss to the 49ers. There wasn’t a ton of equity left in betting Rhule, who was -200 heading into Week 5, but you could have gotten + 225 or so prior to the season and an even better number after the Panthers started the season with close losses to the Browns and Giants and a win over the Saints.

Rhule was 11-27 SU and 15-23 ATS during his tenure. A stat that got a lot of run on social media on Sunday night was that the Panthers had lost 25 games in a row when allowing at least 17 points and had gone 1-27 on his watch overall. They are 0-4 in such games this season and were 3-16 ATS in his last 19 games.

The Panthers have more problems than Rhule, so the transition to defensive pass game coordinator and Charlotte native Steve Wilks is unlikely to save the season. Carolina plays the last two Super Bowl champs (Rams, Bucs) over the next two weeks and also plays the reigning AFC champion Bengals in Week 9. They’ve also got both NFC South games with the Falcons and games against Baltimore and Denver prior to the Week 13 bye.

Teams usually try to wait until the bye week or at least the “half-bye” from playing on Thursday Night Football, but the Panthers wouldn’t have had that option until Week 10 and felt that they couldn’t keep throwing away the season. Of course, many will argue that they should do just that in an effort to draft Bryce Young or CJ Stroud to be the quarterback of the future.

With Rhule out of the picture, the Panthers are anywhere from + 9 to + 10 for Sunday’s game at SoFi Stadium with the total down to 41 on the news that Baker Mayfield is in a walking boot PJ Walker will get the start.

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