Where do the in-form Carolina Panthers currently stand in the national power rankings ahead of their Week 6 game against the Chicago Bears?
Momentum is building for the Carolina Panthers ahead of their Week 6 game against the Chicago Bears at Bank of America Stadium. Another success for Matt Rhule’s would enhance their claims for the unlikeliest of playoff spots. But this is arguably the stiffest challenge they have faced so far this season.
The Chicago Bears seem to be building on the foundations of an exceptional defense. This is giving their offensive playmakers just enough rope to get the job done through the first five weeks and it will be interesting to see just what sort of scheme Carolina Panthers’ offensive coordinator Joe Brady can conjure up in the face of such high-quality opposition.
Carolina’s victory at the Atlanta Falcons last time out was another step in the right direction. Their fast start was the catalyst behind a third straight triumph that sees them with a winning record, which was the best possible outcome through Week 5 considering the preseason doom and gloom from the outside looking in.
This turnaround in form is further reflected in the national power rankings. The Panthers have been steadily climbing the charts in recent weeks and this latest round-up continues in the same manner.
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Carolina Panthers in the Week 6 power rankings
The guys over at NFL.com have been high on the Panthers for a considerable period, and they moved them up another spot to No. 14 on their list following their first victory since 2014 in Atlanta.
ESPN was less impressed with Carolina’s third straight win, but they are now in the top-20 after moving up three spots to No. 19. Beat writer David Newton did highlight the obvious weakness of the Panthers’ run defense as a cause for concern going forward if they don’t find a long-term solution for the absence of Kawann Short.
“The Carolina Panthers are giving up 135 yards per game to rank among the bottom half of the NFL. The Panthers rank as one of the worst teams in the NFL in yards after initial contact. And they have given up eight rushing touchdowns, the most through five games in franchise history.”
CBS Sports officially declared it was now “time to take notice” of the Panthers after moving them up to No. 15, with Pro Football Talk putting them one spot higher than last week at No. 14 on their list.
The Bleacher Report listed the Panthers at No. 17 on their list, claiming that “something special” might be happening in Carolina after the big impact Rhule has made during his first few months at the helm. Pro Football Focus has them at the same number with a notable increase in their overall playoff chances, which now stand at 43 percent
This week’s round-up concludes with Tom Curran at NBC Sports, who was full of praise for quarterback Teddy Bridgewater after Carolina landed at No. 18 in the standings.
“God bless Teddy Bridgewater. Goes 27 for 36 for 313 and 2 TDs the other day, he’s completing 73 percent of his passes and has thrown 15 TDs and five picks going back to his 5-0 run with the Saints last year. Somebody said the Patriots shoulda made a play for him when he was being shopped by the Jets in August of 2018. Woulda been an easy add to a QB room that lost Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett in the preceding 12 months.”
There is still a long way to go. But considering that the Panthers were projected to be a leading contender in the Trevor Lawrence sweepstakes prior to the campaign, where they find themselves right now is way ahead of schedule and could even be the catalyst for a surprise postseason berth with an extra spot up for grabs.