Carolina Panthers stand firm in power rankings ahead of Week 10
By Dean Jones
Where do the Carolina Panthers sit in the national power rankings?
It was another performance full of promise that didn’t quite end with a victory for the Carolina Panthers in Week 9. They pushed the Kansas City Chiefs all the way and had it not been for a Joey Slye missed field goal on the final play, Matt Rhule’s men would’ve caused a significant upset at the Super Bowl champions.
Although there were plenty of positives to take from the loss, it was another example of how much the Carolina Panthers are struggling to come through in critical moments with the game on the line. Being competitive against quality opposition is one thing, but until this young and ever-improving roster finds out how to thrive in the big moments, it’s going to cost them more often than not.
Another stern test of their credentials awaits Carolina this weekend in the form of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who come into the game on the back of an embarrassing 38-3 loss to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday Night Football.
However, they will see this as an opportunity to put this result right at Bank of America Stadium after beating the Panthers 31-17 in their previous encounter this season.
Carolina looks a far better team at this stage than they did in Week 2 despite their 3-6 record. They are making strides in virtually every area and it promises to be an intriguing battle that might go down to the wire once again.
Let’s take a look at where the Panthers stand in the power rankings following another tough loss.
Carolina Panthers in the Week 10 power rankings.
The writers at NFL.com were largely impressed by what they saw from Carolina last Sunday, keeping them at No. 24 on their list and highlighted that the number they put up at the Chiefs normally equate to an easy win on the road, but that’s just not the case coming up against Patrick Mahomes.
ESPN also liked what they saw from the Panthers and held their position at No. 18 as a result. However, they made the claim that Carolina is now fighting to avoid finishing last in the NFC South thanks to the Atlanta Falcons’ resurgence under interim head coach Raheem Morris.
"“Hey, expectations for this team to finish anywhere but last were pretty much nil when the season began, and only a 3-2 start while Atlanta opened 0-5 gave reason to think that might change. Now it appears everything is as predicted.”"
CBS Sports and Pro Football Talk both highlighted the potential impact of Christian McCaffrey missing more time with a shoulder problem as they ranked the Panthers No. 20 and 24 respectively, with The Bleacher Report stating that Carolina might be “the best bad team in the NFL” after putting them up one spot to No. 17 on their list.
NBC Sports had the Panthers at No. 18 in their latest rankings after a strong performance at Arrowhead Stadium, which completes this week’s national roundup.
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There are some holes that need to be filled by the decision-makers next spring and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out just where Carolina is underperforming. Providing they get the right personnel into the franchise during free agency and select well in the 2021 NFL Draft, then a playoff run won’t be too far away.