2020 Carolina Panthers Review
The Carolina Panthers finished the 2020 season with a record of 5-11, which was actually better than most experts predicted. Head coach Matt Rhule brought a new philosophy and system with him, and it was clear that the Panthers are headed in the right direction.
Carolina had a number of flaws in 2020, and it might take a few years for those problems to get corrected. The Panthers had a ton of young players in 2020, but getting the first taste of life in the NFL should help them moving forward.
2021 Carolina Panthers Offseason Additions
The biggest addition that the Carolina Panthers made this season was acquiring Sam Darnold from the New York Jets. Darnold will immediately take over the starting quarterback job and gives this team some direction moving forward.
Carolina was also looking for some help on the defensive side of the ball, and they got it in a number of players. Edge rusher Haason Reddick and linebacker Denzel Perryman will both help the Panthers on the defensive side of the ball.
2021 Carolina Panthers Offseason Departures
Running back, Mike Davis signed with the Atlanta Falcons, and that could potentially leave a huge hole on the Panthers roster. Wide receiver Curtis Samuel has also moved on, taking away an offensive weapon.
Three Key Factors To A Winning Season
Protecting Sam Darnold
Sam Darnold could transform the Panthers franchise, but the offensive line is going to have to give him time to operate. Darnold struggled to have time to operate with the Jets, and that has to be a priority for the Carolina Panthers.
Healthy Christian McCaffrey
The biggest key for the Carolina Panthers is keeping Christian McCaffrey on the field and healthy. McCaffrey is one of the best offensive players in the league, but health has been a major concern since he came into the league.
Finding Some Defense
The defense at times in 2020 really let the team down, and that’s going to have to be improved in 2021. The NFC South does feature some explosive offenses, and Carolina will have to get stops if they hope to keep up.
Rating Their Schedule
The Carolina Panthers don’t play in a very tough division, and that helps make their 2021 schedule manageable. Carolina will face teams from the AFC East and NFC East, and those divisions aren’t really strong either.
Carolina will host the New Orleans Saints in Week 2, and that game could prove to be a measuring stick for how improved this team is this season. The toughest stretch for Carolina comes in Weeks 15 and 16.
Carolina visits Buffalo to take on the Bills in Week 15 before hosting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 16.
Expectations in 2021
This is going to be another trying season for the Carolina Panthers, but it should be better than it was a season ago. This franchise is still going through a rebuild, but having Sam Darnold under center will help.
There is a chance that the Panthers can finish in second place in the NFC South, but that would require a big season. Look for Carolina to finish with seven wins, which will keep them from missing the 2021 playoffs.