Carolina Panthers drop in 2020 power rankings ahead of Week 14

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Jeremy Chinn
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Jeremy Chinn /

Panthers -3.5. 4-8. CBS. Sunday, Dec 13. 87. 1 PM ET. 45. 4-8

Where do the Carolina Panthers sit in the Week 14 power rankings?

If the Carolina Panthers were hoping to generate some momentum after their long-awaited bye week, they might be out of luck. The organization placed eight players on the reserve/COVID-19 list upon their return to testing, which is believed to have stemmed from a meet-up that was not permitted under the current restrictions.

This is yet another example of the naivety of youth and it’s going to cost them and the Carolina Panthers a significant amount financially. Not only that, it might leave their roster decimated of prominent starting players when they take on the Denver Broncos in Week 14 at Bank of America Stadium, which is arguably their most winnable game remaining on the schedule.

It has to be infuriating for head coach Matt Rhule. Teams have to put their trust in players to do the right things when they are away from the facility and a complete lack of common sense has jeopardized chances of finishing the campaign on a high.

For now, let’s take a look at where the Panthers sit in the national power rankings ahead of Sunday’s contest.

Carolina Panthers in the Week 14 power rankings.

The power rankings moved Carolina down one position to No. 23 in their weekly list. But they did take time to highlight the star potential of stud rookie Jeremy Chinn after his starring performance at the Minnesota Vikings in Week 12.

"“He plays a different position, but the Panthers have found a playmaking successor to Luke Kuechly on their defense.”"

ESPN actually placed the Panthers at No. 19, which is one position higher than the previous week. Carolina beat writer David Newton was asked to pick the player with most at stake down the stretch, and his answer was predictably quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.

"“If he really is the “franchise quarterback” that OC Joe Brady called him, Bridgewater needs to prove he can win big games. Otherwise, with a top-10 pick, at minimum, Carolina likely will be in position to draft a franchise QB in the first round to continue its youth movement.”"

CBS Sports stated there was plenty to like about Carolina’s chances moving forward despite demoting them two places to No. 23 in their rankings, with Pro Football Talk bringing up Carolina’s upcoming opportunity to spoil former head coach Ron Rivera’s surprise playoff push in Week 15 and dropping them one place to No. 23.

The Bleacher Report also decreased Carolina’s position to No. 20 – down two from Week 13 – but they predicted things might get better with Christian McCaffrey returning to the lineup. As we now know, this might not be the case as the All-Pro running back is dealing with a quad injury that tightened up after practice on Wednesday.

Rounding off the national power rankings is NBC Sports, who also moved the Panthers down two spots to No. 24 in their list despite not playing a competitive down last weekend.

Whether the Panthers have made the necessary improvements over the bye week to make a real difference down the stretch remains to be seen. They won’t be found wanting for effort with so many players fighting for their futures. But a disappointing end to the campaign is going to leave more questions than answers ahead of a crucial offseason period in 2021.