4 reasons why the Carolina Panthers can make the 2020 playoffs

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Pharoh Cooper
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Pharoh Cooper /
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Carolina Panthers
(Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports) Juston Burris /

There is an extra playoff place this year

The new NFL playoff system this year means that there will be an extra spot up for grabs in both conferences. This is something that clearly benefits teams like the Carolina Panthers, who could be right on the fringes if this positive form continues for the remainder of the season.

Having three teams coming out from the same division might have seemed impossible in years gone by. But this extra place has altered everything.

Carolina does have plenty of hard work still to do in order to reach this lofty goal. They have rolled off three straight triumphs, but they will be coming up against some realistic Super Bowl contenders between now and the end of the campaign.

Someone with a 9-7 record might make the playoff this year. Given the Panthers are currently sitting at 3-2, the thought of them going 6-5 or even 7-4 over the next 11 games is not out of the realms of possibility.

It’s clear that just one will be coming out of the dismal NFC East, which also increases their chances of making that extra playoff spot their own. The Panthers were expected to get better as the season wore on, so this encouraging start has plenty dreaming of things that simply didn’t seem possible during an offseason of unprecedented disruption.

Matt Rhule is keen to keep everyone’s feet on the ground, which he is right to do. But this incentive is now there for all to see and it is hard not to start looking at the prospect of postseason football once again.