After disappointing seasons, the Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints are both looking to use their Week 17 meeting to springboard them to better things next year. But it's unclear whether a win in New Orleans on Sunday will help keep Carolina from making sweeping organizational changes.
Since starting 2-8, the Panthers (6-9) have won four of five. They've won three straight by double digits, including a victory against the NFC's top seed Atlanta, but it still might not be enough for owner Jerry Richardson to retain coach Ron Rivera for another year.
Rivera is 12-19 in two seasons at the helm and still has two years remaining on his contract. But even a 7-9 finish would likely be a disappointment for a team that seemed to have a shot at its first playoff berth since 2008-09 after Cam Newton burst on the scene as a rookie last season and the team won four of its final six games.
Rivera said there hasn't been any assurances from Richardson, and the two haven'...