Carolina Panthers drop slightly in power rankings ahead of Week 11

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) D.J. Moore
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) D.J. Moore /

50. FOX. Sunday, Nov 22. 3-7. 87. 4-5. Panthers -1.5. 1 PM ET

Where do the Carolina Panthers stand in the power rankings ahead of Week 11?

A demoralizing home loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was yet another strong indicator as to the big decisions facing the Carolina Panthers next spring. The team has performed well against some top opposition this season – barring a couple of shocking outings – but there are plenty more improvements still to be made if they want to be considered as realistic Super Bowl contenders down the line.

This is a roster that appears to be low on confidence. Such was the level of frustrating after their 46-23 reverse at Bank of America Stadium last weekend, outside linebacker Shaq Thompson took it upon himself to unleash on his teammates in the locker room after the Carolina Panthers collapsed completely in the second half.

Whether this will have the desired effect remains to be seen.

Sunday’s game against the Detroit Lions could be something of a crossroads for their hopes of salvaging any sort of respectability from the current campaign. The Panthers still have to play the Vikings, Packers, and Saints both before and after their bye week, but with games against the Washington Football Team and Broncos also on the calendar, if they could go .500 from their remaining six games it would be considered a bonus.

The Lions won’t be pushovers. They have a dynamic offense even without stud receiver Kenny Golladay and their defense showed real improvements last time out.

Let’s take a look at where the Panthers landed in their national power rankings ahead of Week 11.

Carolina Panthers in the power rankings

The Panthers were unchanged in’s weekly rankings at No. 24 and added that although Carolina might be fun to watch, this cannot overshadow their concerning losing streak which now stands at five games.

ESPN dropped the Panthers two spots to No. 20 in their listing. Beat writer David Newton was asked about what play the coaching staff would take back from the season so far and he went with a crucial failed fourth-down conversion in their season opener against the Raiders.

"“The Panthers have arguably the best all-purpose back in the NFL in Christian McCaffrey and a chance to win Matt Rhule’s opener at home. Then on fourth-and-1 from the Las Vegas 46 with 1:23 remaining, they gave the ball to Armah, a fullback who was stuffed for no gain. Very conservative call for offensive coordinator Joe Brady. The Raiders won 34-30, and that seemed to set the tone for a season in which the Panthers haven’t figured out a way to consistently finish off games, losing five by eight points or fewer and three by four or fewer.”"

The guys over at CBS Sports put Carolina at No. 21 in their weekly power rankings, which is down one. However, they were quick to point out that the Panthers might be a little better than their losing run suggests given the standard of competition Matt Rhule’s men have come up against in recent games.

Pro Football Talk actually raised the Panthers despite a crushing home defeat to an NFC South rival, moving them up just one spot to No. 23. The Bleacher Report didn’t seem as optimistic and dropped Carolina two places to No. 19, with the injury suffered by quarterback Teddy Bridgewater late in the game as an area of significant concern.

Completing this week’s round-up is NBC Sports, who have the Panthers at No. 18 and claimed they were probably on a hiding to nothing from the outset given the way Tom Brady was embarrassed at the Saints on Sunday Night Football the previous weekend.

This is a huge game this weekend for the Panthers. Not much has been expected of them in terms of winning over the last month. But that is going to change against a Lions team that’s also been very hit and miss so far this season.