Struggles expected for Carolina Panthers but individuals could shine

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Christian McCaffrey
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Christian McCaffrey /

How has a troubled offseason and a complete change in philosophy impacted the Carolina Panthers and their chances of success in 2020?

Things look uncertain for the Carolina Panthers in terms of mounting any sort of a postseason challenge in 2020. This is to be expected during the first year of their substantial rebuild. But any sort of momentum they can generate from a tough-looking schedule could stand them in good stead going forward.

New head coach Matt Rhule is under no illusions as to the task awaiting the Carolina Panthers in 2020. They have plenty of questions to answer at various positions on the field. And their defense has been gutted of prominent veteran leadership in a bid to get younger and more athletic.

Their plight is further highlighted in the latest market provided by Oddschecker. They give the Panthers little chance of making a big impression for team accolades, with their over-under on the season placed at 5.5.

This would be something in the region of what Carolina achieved in 2019. It is hard to gauge just how well this new roster is going to get on in the face of some stern competition. A lack of preseason games is something else to consider, especially during the early stages of the campaign.

Carolina Panthers 2020 team odds:

  • To win opener against Las Vegas Raiders: +110 (2nd favorite)
  • To win the NFC South: +2500 (4F)
  • To win the NFC: +6000 (15F)
  • To win Super Bowl LV: +12500 (29F)
  • Season win total (over/under): 5.5

It is something of a surprise that the Panthers are not favored to beat the Raiders in Week 1. This has the potential to be a statement game for players and Carolina’s coaching staff. And getting off on the front foot could do wonders for their aspirations for the remainder of the campaign.

The pursuit of honors looks bleak. This is not going to come as a big surprise for anyone associated with the franchise. But this lack of expectation could be something that could lead to Carolina becoming one of the NFL’s surprise packages in 2020.

There appears to be a better outlook for certain individuals to pick up some notable accolades. But this is going to ultimately depend on just what sort of record the Panthers will end up with following their Week 17 contest against the New Orleans Saints.

Carolina Panthers 2020 individual odds:

  • Christian McCaffrey to win MVP: +5000 (15F)
  • Teddy Bridgewater to win MVP: +10000 (31F)
  • Teddy Bridgewater to throw the most passing yards: +6600 (21F)
  • Christian McCaffrey to record the most rushing yards: +1200 (3F)
  • Derrick Brown to win DROTY: +2500 (6F)

Oddschecker spokesperson Pete Watt had this to say on the Panthers’ chances in 2020.

"“Carolina aren’t well-fancied in their opening match, division, conference or Super-Bowl – in fact, only Washington, Jacksonville and Cincinnati are considered less likely to win the Super Bowl this year. However, there are a number of Panthers who look set to shine, most notably mercurial running-back Christian McCaffrey. He sits 15th on the MVP list – despite the QB stranglehold on the award – and is among the favorites to record the most rushing yards this year.“Teddy Bridgewater is well-fancied to fill a Cam Newton-shaped hole in the offense, while the strength of their rookie class is demonstrated through Derrick Brown’s short odds to win DROTY. All in all, it’s likely to be a tough year for the Panthers as a franchise, but there is plenty of reason to be optimistic for the future.”"

Things could literally go either way for the Panthers in 2020. The team’s loyal fanbase should focus on the bigger picture when judging the team next season, with growth and development far more important than results on the field.

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Rhule is getting a free pass in 2020, but that is not going to be the case for much longer. Owner David Tepper will be expecting a contender by the time his ambitious off-field plans come to fruition. This will also increase the urgency for success in Carolina Panthers next year and beyond.