Carolina Panthers finish 3-13, receive No. 1 draft pick according to ESPN
Carolina Panthers finish 3-13 in ESPN simulated 2019 season.
ESPN simulated the 2019 NFL season and in one instance, it doesn’t end well for the Carolina Panthers. Entering the year with high expectations after an offseason spent revamping the entire roster and shifting defensive schemes, if it all falls apart more changes will be upcoming.
It’s a safe bet that following a seven game slide over the second half of 2018, six consecutive losses after a season opening win would put coach Ron Rivera firmly on the hot seat. If not already in the unemployment line, a projected 1-7 second half of 2019 would likely see new owner David Tepper find his own coach and potentially general manager.
ESPN simulated all 267 games and while Carolina hopefully didn’t finish last in every model, the one picked for this particular deep-dive into the season leaves Panthers fans wondering what went wrong. First off, a healthy Cam Newton should win more than three football games this year so one can speculate the wheels fall off due to some type of injury.
Concluding the year with a league worst 3-13 overall record, Carolina ties the AFC North basement dwelling Cincinnati Bengals. Fortunately, the Panthers own a tie-breaker advantage in strength of schedule, as their opponents won two more games – granting Carolina the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
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The first such selection since Newton was taken in 2011 following a 2-14 regular season that ended coach Jon Fox’s reign on the sidelines. The changes Tepper would be faced with making could shape the franchise for years to come. Not only would a new coach and/or general manager be installed but another signal caller could be on the way with Newton entering a contract year and enduring multiple seasons marred by injury.
Current top prospects include Tua Tagovailoa (Alabama), Justin Herbert (Oregon), Jake Fromm (Georgia), K.J. Costello (Stanford), Nate Stanley (Iowa) and Jalen Hurts (Oklahoma). After drafting Will Grier this season, this projected slide would make Tepper have to determine if he is truly the future franchise quarterback or if they should go with one of these other options? Hopefully, we don’t have to find out.
View the full ESPN simulation and see who claims the Lombardi Trophy here.