I wrote a column for Wednesday's Charlotte Observer (find it here) about why December will remain an important month for the Panthers even though they are all but out of the playoff chase.
I projected in the column that Carolina (4-7) would likely need to win all 5 of its remaining games to make the playoffs, and put the odds of that happening at about 100-to-1.
Nevertheless, the games are significant. Men will be playing -- and coaching -- to try and guarantee that they have jobs in 2010.
In the column, I identify four key areas that December will help us understand better: the future of the Panthers' head-coaching and quarterback positions, as well as which eras will end (Muhsin Muhammad? Brad Hoover?) and what the Panthers will do to solve the continuing salary-cap problem of Julius Peppers.