Five NFL head coaches are in their first year with a new team in 2020. So far, they’re doing surprisingly well given the circumstances. Grading a new head coach can be tricky…

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The Carolina Panthers peaked with a 15-1 record and run to the Super Bowl in 2015. They’ve been trending downward ever since, which is why they fired longtime head coach Ron Rivera last season and hired Matt Rhule as his replacement in January.
Prior to joining the Panthers, Rhule spent the past three seasons with the Baylor Bears. After going 1-11 during his first season at Baylor in 2017, he guided the Bears to a 7-6 record in 2018 and went 11-3 last season. 
The Panthers were likely hoping Rhule would engineer a similarly quick turnaround, but they’ve gone only 4-8 thus far this year. However, they’re already only one win away from tying their win total from last season.
The biggest difference this season compared to 2019 has been the defensive play. The Panthers allowed 29.4 points per game last season, the second-most in the league, but they’re 15th this year with 25 points per game allowed.
Rhule needs to keep building out his offense in the coming seasons, especially if offensive coordinator Joe Brady leaves for a head coaching job this offseason. The Panthers currently rank 21st in scoring with only 23.3 points per contest. 
Rhule hasn’t gotten off to a perfect start in Carolina, but the Panthers appear to be trending in the right direction.
Grade: C+