Throughout the course of the 2018 NFL season, we've heard all of the rumors swirling about potential head coaches that will be looking for work once Week 17 concludes. 

Carolina Panthers head coach ​​Ron Rivera is now the front-runner, in terms of odds, as the coach that will most likely be fired. 

After starting the season 6-2 as one of the hottest teams in the NFL, the Panthers have cooled off immensely, losing their last six games and falling well out of the playoff picture. 

In his eighth season with the team, Rivera has compiled a 70-55-1 record as the head coach. He has one Super Bowl appearance, which was the 24-10 loss to the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50.  He has a 3-4 record in the postseason, and has won three NFC South titles. 

Can someone explain how he could possibly have a higher chance to be fired than Todd Bowles? Rivera has been coaching a team that has ​Cam Newton at half strength, and they've been without key players like Greg Olsen. Bowles has just been awful in his tenure with the New York Jets.

If Rivera plays Newton and he sustains an even worse injury that could impact his future with the team, then that's definitely a fireable offense. 

Rivera has to play it smart here, especially if he wants to keep his job.