Carolina Panthers named as NFC’s biggest sleeper team in 2020

(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) Teddy Bridgewater
(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) Teddy Bridgewater /

The Carolina Panthers were named the NFC’s biggest sleeper team in a recent article published on SB Nation.

Things could go either way for the Carolina Panthers next season. They are coming in with a brand-new coaching staff that is devoid of any real experience in the NFL. And their roster has undergone a substantial overhaul during the first year of a sizable rebuild.

Their task has not been assisted with an offseason littered with disruption. It will be interesting to see how the Carolina Panthers come together during training camp. But it promises to be a bumpy road for the young and unproven group.

There is a definite potential where the Panthers are concerned. They boast game-changing players on both sides of the ball. And although this might not come with any immediate postseason berth, it might keep them competitive against the odds.

Seeing this core develop as the campaign progresses will tell us plenty about just how long this expected rebuild is going to take. Head coach Matt Rhule has a fine record of getting struggling college programs back to prominence. But it remains to be seen whether this can make a smooth transition to a professional environment.

SB Nation writer Jake Rajala of the Canal Street Chronicles is bullish about Carolina’s chances in 2020. In a recent feature, he picked the Panthers as the NFC’s biggest sleeper team next season thanks to a host of impressive arrivals that have gone relatively under-the-radar compared to divisional rival Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

"“This new look Panthers team is primed to take the league by storm in 2020 and turn lots of heads around the NFL world. They have all the talent and personnel to be a key contender come September.“The Panthers have acquired talented players that have come through a lesser spotlight than the Buccaneers. The Panthers may have added more talented, yet underrated acquisitions, who could propel them to better terms down the road. The Panthers may very well be playing in the national spotlight under the special comeback story of Teddy Bridgewater, come January 4.”"

Are the Carolina Panthers the NFC’s biggest sleeper team?

To call the Carolina Panthers a sleeper team might be stretching it a little. They do have plenty of talented individuals who can turn on the style consistently. But crowning them the NFC’s biggest potential surprise package at this stage of their development appears hasty.

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The Panthers are coming up against some elite teams on the schedule. And they will also clash with other teams that hold some lofty ambitions of making a postseason run.

Things haven’t been easy. And this might suggest a season of struggle during this period of transition. However, Carolina’s lack of expectations might work in their favor as the roster looks to lay a foundation from which to build a Super Bowl winner in the not-too-distant future.

It might be best to take a wait and see approach before determining whether the Panthers are going to be classed as a sleeper. Their offense should put some significant points on the board in Joe Brady’s dynamic scheme. But whether the defense can hold up its end of the bargain remains a considerable doubt.

The coming months are going to be must-watch for the Panthers. How this unit comes out of 2020 is going to pivotal. And they must ensure the organization is an attractive destination for free agents during another important offseason in 2021.

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