Carolina Panthers surge up power rankings ahead of Week 4

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) Jeremy Chinn
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) Jeremy Chinn /

The Carolina Panthers managed to surge up the national power rankings ahead of a crucial Week 4 contest at home to the Arizona Cardinals.

It was a long time coming, but the Carolina Panthers broke a concerning ten-game losing run dating back to last season at the Chargers in Week 3. This has the potential to do wonders for the morale of this young roster, but whether they can capitalize on this in the coming weeks remains to be seen.

New head coach Matt Rhule could not hide his relief after getting his first NFL success since arriving in Carolina earlier this year. The former Baylor man has had a rude awakening along with the rest of his inexperienced coaching staff so far. But the Carolina Panthers showed a marked improvement at SoFi Stadium across all areas that was encouraging, to say the least.

There is plenty to like about the Panthers’ chances going forward, providing they continue to progress. it is only one win and there are plenty more adjustments that need to be made. But things look far more promising now than they did at any stage during the preparation period or the first two weeks of the campaign.

Let’s take a look at the national power rankings round-up, which makes good reading for the Panthers before they take on the Arizona Cardinals at Bank of America Stadium on Sunday.

Carolina Panthers in the Week 3 power rankings

The guys over at continue to be impressed by what they are seeing from the Panthers. Their first win of the season lifted them four spots up to No. 24. They noted the outstanding resolve of Carolina’s defense that played a leading part in their eventual triumph, with the performance of Mike Davis in Christian McCaffrey’s absence also coming in for praise.

ESPN‘s power rankings weren’t as enthusiastic, placing the Panthers at No. 29, which is a leap of just one spot. But they highlighted that Carolina might not be an easy win from here on out thanks to the competitive way they have started the season.

"“They have been in position to win all three games, which is an accomplishment. As this group grows with experience alongside an offense that’s capable of putting points on the board, the Panthers won’t be an easy win moving forward.”"

Things looked even better for the Panthers in the power rankings issued by CBS Sports and Pro Football Talk, who both had them at No. 22 on the list, which is a substantial rise of nine and ten places, respectively.

"“To go across the country and beat the Chargers without Christian McCaffrey shows that the rebuild is moving much faster than expected.”"

The Bleacher Report‘s weekly power rankings had the Panthers at No. 26 – a jump of five spots from the previous listing. Winning without McCaffrey was a focal point of their discussion, which did come as a surprise given his overall influence on offense almost since he entered the NFL as a first-round pick back in 2017.

Rounding off the power rankings are Yahoo Sports, who has Carolina at No. 24 on their list after coming in at No. 31 following a Week 2 loss at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Shaq Thompson’s notable rise in production was their topic choice, which was a stark contrast from the player’s performances over the last fortnight.

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This is a good start, but it would be foolish for Panthers’ fans to get ahead of themselves. This continues to be a work in progress and finding a level of consistency is going to be their next challenge after getting the pressure of the first victory off their backs.