Carolina Panthers plunge in national power rankings ahead of bye

(Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Trenton Cannon
(Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Trenton Cannon /

27. 87. 28. 60. Final

Where do the Carolina Panthers find themselves in the Week 13 power rankings?

There has been plenty said about the Carolina Panthers following their disastrous 28-27 loss at the Minnesota Vikings last weekend. What occurred down the stretch was the story of the season and once this gets figured out both from a playing and coaching perspective, it should improve results.

That is no consolation for their efforts in 2020, which is now dead in the water with the Carolina Panthers at 4-8 heading into their Week 13 bye. There is sure to be plenty of soul-searching from everyone associated with the organization during this period away from the gridiron and it’s yet another big test of character for this young group when they return at home against the Denver Broncos.

Nobody was expecting miracles during the first year of a pretty substantial rebuild in Carolina. They do have some nice pieces to build around, but it’s hard to deny this isn’t another massive offseason in terms of recruitment as the Panthers look to take that next step forward in 2021.

Let’s take a look at where the Panthers ended up in the national power rankings after snatching defeat from the jaws of victory at U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday.

Carolina Panthers in the Week 13 power rankings

The guys over at still can’t work out what the Panthers are after moving them down three spots to No.22, which is understandable after a campaign littered with inconsistent play and standout performances in almost equal measure.

"“The Panthers are either the best bad team or the worst good team in football. Whatever they are, it won’t be enough to extend their season beyond Week 17.”"

ESPN was the only power ranking from a major media outlet to hold firm and keep Carolina at No. 20 on their list. Beat writer David Newton stated this might change if the Panthers cannot come off their bye week with a victory over the Denver Broncos at Bank of America Stadium.

CBS Sports highlighted that Carolina’s defense “will be nasty” in the future after dropping them three places to No. 21, with Pro Football Talk putting the blame for their loss at the Vikings squarely on the shoulders of Rhule after decreasing their position two spaces to No. 22.

The Bleacher Report questioned whether or not the Panthers should bring back their All-Pro Christian McCaffrey for the remaining four games which could possibly jeopardize their 2021 NFL Draft position after putting them at No. 18 – down one from the previous week – and NBC Sports claimed Carolina is in good hands with quarterback Teddy Bridgewater after ranking them at No. 20.

What’s transpiring in Carolina is a work in progress and anyone who thought otherwise wasn’t looking at the bigger picture. Hopefully, this bye week has come at a good time for rest, reflection, and for the coaching staff to make some adjustments to finish an eventful campaign on a high note.