Championships mean everything in the NFL. Unfortunately for the Carolina Panthers, they are still searching for their first championship since being established in 1995. The closest they have been to winning a Super Bowl was in 2004 with then head coach John Fox and Steve Smith leading the way and most recently in 2016, which featured Ron Rivera as the head coach and 2015-16 NFL MVP Cam Newton. If the Carolina Panthers won Super Bowl 50 against the Denver Broncos, it is very likely that Rivera and Newton have remained in Carolina past 2019. Let's discuss.
Since this would have been the first Super Bowl in team history, there is a great chance that most members of the 2015-16 would have been immortalized by the organization. It is also important to remember that up until Super Bowl 50, the Panthers only lost one game in the entire season. Including the Super Bowl loss, the 2015-16 team is still arguably one of the greatest teams in NFL history. Not too many teams can replicate everything that the 2015-16 team had accomplished. Unfortunately for the Panthers, they could not finish the job when it mattered most, and that made a noticeable impact on many members of the organization.
One could make the argument that both Ron Rivera and Cam Newton's successes had significantly declined following the Super Bowl loss. Following that season, the Panthers were 6-10 in 2016, 11-5 in 2017, 7-9 in 2018, and then 5-11 in 2019. Three out of those four seasons consisted of records under .500. These results certainly weren't good enough for Ron Rivera to retain his position as the head coach in Carolina.
Ron Rivera certainly would not have gone anywhere if the Panthers won Super Bowl 50, even if his success had declined following a Super Bowl win. A championship winning head coach holds a lot more weight in this league.
The same can certainly be said about Cam Newton. If he topped off his MVP season with a Super Bowl, he would undoubtedly be viewed as the greatest player to ever play for the organization. It seems safe to say that his untimely exit would not have occurred if he had a Super Bowl win under his belt.
If the Panthers defeated the Broncos, this organization may have used that momentum to go into the following seasons. Who knows what could have happened after Carolina experienced that much success from one season? As sad as it sounds, there would have been a domino effect that Panthers fans will never be able to see. This isn't Back To The Future, though, so fans can only dream of what could have been.