Rough ride expected on Panthers schedule in 2020

Dean Jones
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) Matt Rhule
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) Matt Rhule /

The Carolina Panthers schedule is littered with quality opposition, which could leave them in for a rough ride in 2020.

It comes as no surprise that the Carolina Panthers schedule does not hold out much hope of securing a winning season. Head coach Matt Rhule is in the first year of a rebuild and is in the initial stages of a plan after signing a seven-year deal to prize him away from Baylor.

While this might be good for the team’s long-term chances of becoming a contender. The Panthers schedule looks a daunting prospect in 2020 and one that has experts across the country fearing the worst.

USA Today’s Nate Davis has a similarly bleak outlook on the Panthers schedule. In a recent feature, the national NFL writer has Carolina going 3-13 next season that would put them among the lower echelons of the NFL once again.

Davis wrote this when outlining his thoughts on the Panthers schedule in 2020.

"“New coach with limited NFL experience (Matt Rhule). New playbooks on both sides of the ball. New quarterback with six starts in the past four seasons (Teddy Bridgewater). No Luke Kuechly. Three divisional opponents who project as tough outs. Rough ride seems likely.”"

This sort of prediction has been a trend since the Panthers schedule was released. It is sure to be bulletin board material for the roster whenever they return to the field following the coronavirus pandemic. But plenty of fresh faces are going to be learning on the job with the prospect of a shortened training camp. This can come with its own complications.

One suspects the Panthers are under no illusions as to the task awaiting them during the upcoming campaign. They parted ways with several key veterans during the offseason and were dealt a significant blow when perennial All-Pro Luke Kuechly announced his retirement.

That being said, there are some exciting young players that can make an instant impression thanks to a historic draft. If the team can show growth and pick up the odd win here or there, it is going to do their confidence the world of good on a brutal looking schedule that could be the league’s toughest.

The Panthers are forming some ambitious plans off the field. So it is imperative that they have a team worthy of such proposals by the time they come to fruition. A 3-13 record is the worst-case scenario from 2020 and although struggles are widely predicted, this would undoubtedly leave more questions than answers.

If there were to secure this unwarranted distinction next tern, then it would see the Panthers in with a shot of taking an elite prospect with a high pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. The likes of Trevor Lawrence, Penei Sewell, and Justin Fields are the early frontrunners for the No. 1 overall pick and each prospect promises to be a substantial amount to the next level.

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The Panthers schedule is not ideal given their current predicament. It is going to be another rollercoaster for a franchise that has been on a steady decline since their NFC Championship-winning season of 2015.