Sunday will be difficult for both Ron Rivera and Norv Turner. Both are in danger of getting fired in a matter of weeks and whichever man loses this Carolina-San Diego matchup is probably in even more danger.
Rivera served as defensive coordinator under Turner at San Diego from 2008-10, and he now employs Turners son Scott on his staff. Rivera and Norv Turner remain close friends, and Rivera has had something of a San Diego-to-Carolina player pipeline during his two years in Charlotte (it has produced only mixed results).
The record similarities (4-9 for Carolina, 5-8 for San Diego) are obvious for two teams that were supposed to be playoff contenders. Whats also unusual is that each team might have played its best game of the year last week (Carolina beating Atlanta and San Diego beating Pittsburgh).
Turners biggest problem this season has been with the NFC South. The Chargers are 5-5 against the AFC, 0-3 against Atlanta, Tampa Bay and New Orleans.
Its possible both will be gone no matter what happens Sunday, of course. But either way, its not going to be easy for either.
• As well as Luke Kuechly has played, I cant imagine he will be anything but a middle linebacker the rest of his career in Carolina.
• Philip Rivers does a lot of things well, but one that the former N.C. State quarterback doesnt get enough credit for is simply showing up every week. Rivers will start his 110th straight game Sunday the second-longest starting streak among active quarterbacks (the New York Giants Eli Manning is at 132). Carolinas Cam Newton (who will make his 30th straight start Sunday) would need to start every game until late in 2017 to get to 110.
• This has been one of the hardest Panthers teams ever to predict week to week, and I missed them again last week when they upset Atlanta. My record: 6-7. My pick: San Diego 33, Carolina 27.
The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.
Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email email@example.com to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.Read moreRead less