NFL Schedule

2021 Carolina Panthers Preview

Head Coach: Matt Rhule

2020

Record: 5-11

2020 was expected to be a rebuilding year after they parted ways with Cam Newton and Luke Kuechly retired. New coaching staff, temporary QB (Teddy Bridgewater). Am entire draft spent rebuilding the D. Let it cook for a year. Christian McCaffery missing most of the year didn’t help with the win total, but… see “offense” below.

2021

2021 Draft Picks

1-8 CB Jaycee Horn, South Carolina

2-59 WR Terrace Marshall Jr. LSU

3-70 T Brady Christensen, BYU

3-83 TE Tommy Tremble, Notre Dame

4-126 RB Chuba Hubbard, Oklahoma State

5-158 DT Daviyon Nixon, Iowa

5-166 CB Keith Taylor, Washington

6-193 G Deonte Brown, Alabama

6-204 WR Shi Smith, South Carolina

6-222) LS Thomas Fletcher, Alabama

7-232 DT Phil Hoskins, Kentucky

The Panthers needed a solid draft in 2021, and it looks like they got it. After snagging one more piece for the defensive unit… Horn was one of the best DBs available, they landed some players that should impact the O in year one. Both Marshall and Christiansen look like steals.

Key Pick Ups

Sam Darnold – QB (from Jets)

Dan Arnold – TE (from Cardinals)

Arnold was a solid acquisition after a breakout year in Arizona, but Darnold could very well wind up being the biggest pick up in the league in 2021.

Key Losses

Teddy Bridgewater – QB (to Broncos)

Mike Davis – RB (to Falcons)

Curtis Samuel – WR (to Football Team)

Bridgewater was never meant to stick around. Davis was a solid back up for CMC, but not a necessity. Samuel was just coming into his own, but was replaceable.

Offense

Offensive Coordinator: Joe Brady

2020 Points Scored: 350 (24th)

How no one is talking about the Panthers offense is a mystery. We finally get to see what Darnold can do with actual talent around him. CMC’s injury caused other players to step up, and they did… 3 1,000 receivers on the same team. Samuel is gone, but with CMC back, the Panthers will turn some heads before the year is done.

Defense

Defensive Coordinator: Phil Snow

2020 Points Allowed: 402 (18th)

The D is still very young. That they managed to be middle of the pack in 2020 was a testament to DC Phil Snow. The growing pains aren’t over yet; this is a unit that’s probably still a year or two away… but they should be good enough to keep them in games if the O bogs down.

Special Teams

Joey Slye improved quite a bit in 2020, enough so that he’ll be unchallenged in camp. No one else is safe.

If Things Go Well

It turns out the Jets were the problem, not Darnold., and he O is explosive. The D isn’t elite but it doesn’t need to be. Still not a real Super Bowl contender, but the Panthers reach the postseason and stay in the fight for a division title all yeat.

If They Don’t

We learn that Darnold is just a bad NFL QB, and all of those weapons are wasted. The D plays like the young group it is, and the Panthers remain a good team in need of a QB.

Prediction

Darnold will be looking to prove himself, and should make a good showing. The schedule isn’t the easiest, but the Panthers will at least be in the playoff conversation.

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Date Opponent
Sunday
Sep. 12
New York Jets
Sunday
Sep. 19
New Orleans Saints
Thursday
Sep. 23
at Houston Texans
Sunday
Oct. 3
at Dallas Cowboys
Sunday
Oct. 10
Philadelphia Eagles
Sunday
Oct. 17
Minnesota Vikings
Sunday
Oct. 24
at New York Giants
Sunday
Oct. 31
at Atlanta Falcons
Sunday
Nov. 7
New England Patriots
Sunday
Nov. 14
at Arizona Cardinals
Sunday
Nov. 21
Washington Football Team
Sunday
Nov. 28
at Miami Dolphins
Sunday
Dec. 5
BYE
Sunday
Dec. 12
Atlanta Falcons
Saturday
Dec. 18
at Buffalo Bills
Sunday
Dec. 26
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Sunday
Jan. 2
at New Orleans Saints
Sunday
Jan. 9
at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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