The Carolina Panthers schedule has just one prime-time game in 2020, which might actually be a good thing for their young roster.
The Panthers’ only game on national television sees them host the Atlanta Falcons in week eight on Thursday Night Football. This also represents a good chance of victory against a side who possess some potent offensive weapons but lack quality on defense.
This season will be all about building up confidence for Carolina and picking up wins where they can. The Panthers schedule is devoid of national exposure and this could work to their benefit.
It would take the pressure of a group who will have limited time to gel due to social distancing measures surrounding the coronavirus pandemic. There is no telling what a demoralizing defeat on national television would do to the confidence overall.
As luck would have it, the Panthers have a good opportunity against the Falcons, who are also expected to struggle in 2020 in what appears to be a crossroads season for the franchise and their veteran quarterback Matt Ryan. The NFC South will likely be contested between the New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, leaving the other two teams fighting to avoid the basement.
This is the second consecutive season that the Panthers schedule does not consist of any Sunday or Monday night games. This is to be expected given their struggles. But if they show promise and progression in 2020 it would undoubtedly change next term.
Players love the opportunity to perform in front of a big audience. However, during this period of transition, it might be more beneficial to keep them out of the headlines and focus more on their overall development in a tough-looking series of fixtures during the next campaign.
It would be a huge shock if the Panthers mounted anything like a challenge for the postseason in 2020. There is a slight chance everything clicks immediately, but new head coach Matt Rhule should be looking at the bigger picture rather than focusing his attention on short-term success.
While it might be somewhat of a financial blow not to be featured on prime-time more than once. It could be a blessing in disguise for a group that is going to go through plenty of ups and downs next season.
The Panthers schedule is going to be another wild ride for their fanbase in 2020. Expectations are also low, which is another thing they can use as a source of motivation.