About a week ago, David Walker took a dive into expectations for the rebuilding Carolina Panthers and how they might play in 2020, and in turn how that might impact the Falcons. Today, we’re surveying the staff to see what record we’re expecting for the Panthers this year. Let’s hear from you, as well!
While I believe that the Panthers will be the last place team in the NFC South, they can very well be a very interesting team that is not far from contending in about two seasons. Of course, the presence of Christian McCaffrey provides an elite playmaker on offense and he will be very productive. The combination of Robby Anderson and D.J. Moore gives the Panthers a very solid duo at receiver that will keep the passing game above average.
The defensive side of the ball is likely where this team will take a few gut punches. Minus Brian Burns, there really is not much of a pass rushing threat to consistently get after the quarterback. Rookie safety Jeremy Chinn will be a heat-seeking missile that will be established by season’s end but the Panthers cornerback play will likely lead to a number of high-scoring shootouts that may not end well in their favor. - Eric Robinson
I can’t even come up with anything to hate about the Panthers. Who is the coach? I can’t even remember. Is Cam Newton still there? No. Luke Kuechly? Retired. Is that angry, mean old guy who maybe founded Denny’s or Bojangles or Stuckey’s or something still the owner? Forced to sell the team. Christian McCaffrey? OK, that is the only thing I can even identify about the team anymore. I mean... do we even know which Carolina they are from? I don’t.
What are the Panthers now? I’m guessing too boring to say anything other than 4-12. (1 win certainly comes from Atlanta because that is how things go for the Falcons). - Matt Chambers
The Panthers are taking pains to tear this thing down to build it back up. Matt Rhule is going to get the time, the cash, and the power he needs to tear down the old Dave Gettleman/Marty Hurney defensive tackle dream team and he started it off by...drafting another defensive tackle? Oh, okay.
We don’t know Rhule’s vision for this team just yet, but we do know there’s enough talent here to be a decent football team. I like Teddy Bridgewater better than most, and his pinpoint accuracy will allow him to feed Christian McCaffrey, D.J. Moore, and Ian Thomas a ton of targets, even if he doesn’t take a lot of shots downfield. The defense isn’t loaded the way it once was, but this is a unit that’s stout up front and getting better in the secondary thanks to the addition of young talent at corner in particular, setting them up to be solid there.
I don’t expect them to do more than play spoiler for the other three teams in the NFC South this season, but I imagine they’ll be pretty good at it. With the Saints gearing up to hand the team to Taysom Hill (?) and the Buccaneers pushing their chips in for Tom Brady’s twilight years, the Panthers are the team to worry about over the long haul. Just not this year. -Dave Choate
I think we could be heading into a reality where the NFC South is the legitimate toughest division in football, precisely because I’m not ready to rule out the Carolina Panthers just yet. We all assume the Saints and Bucs will be good, and we sure hope the Falcons will be (and know they should be), too. But the Panthers signing a quarterback like Teddy Bridgewater could portend to much more than we realize. If he plays well and their young defense shows any kind of life, they might not ever be an easy out. Christian McCaffrey is certainly someone you have to worry about on every snap he’s in the game, too. I don’t think they’ll be a threat, per se, but I don’t think they’ll be a pushover, either. - Cory Woodroof