3 bold predictions for the Carolina Panthers vs. Saints

(Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports) Curtis Samuel
(Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports) Curtis Samuel /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) Teddy Bridgewater /

15. FOX. 5-10. 87. 11-4. Sunday, Jan 3. Saints -6.5. 4.25 PM ET

Bold predictions for the Carolina Panthers vs. Saints in Week 17.

The Carolina Panthers end their 2020 campaign in Charlotte against the New Orleans Saints. With only one first-round bye available for the postseason, Sean Payton isn’t expected to rest starters on Sunday. This type of game should allow for one final analysis of the current roster and coaching staff before changes are inevitably made over the next few months.

This period of Carolina’s franchise history is pivotal for the future of the team and nobody understands that more than Matt Rhule and team owner David Tepper.

Fans will always have an opinion and that was very apparent after the Panthers got their fifth victory of the season on Sunday. While we won’t know for sure until the final whistle of the regular season is blown, Carolina may have cost themselves a top-three pick in the 2021 NFL Draft by beating Washington.

This led to a healthy debate on social media on whether building a winning culture is as important as retaining a high spot in the next draft.

Here’s the truth: there are only two life-changing prospects in the upcoming draft.  Trevor Lawrence is expected to go first overall to Jacksonville and if the Jets believe Sam Darnold is worth keeping, they’ll pick Oregon tackle, Penei Sewell, with the second pick.

There are a lot of promising players after Lawrence and Sewell, but no guarantees.

Win or lose this Sunday, it’s obvious Rhule has this team headed in the right direction as a coach. Let’s see what the offseason has in store before we claim the sky is falling.

For now, here are three bold Panthers predictions as the curtain comes down on another eventful season against the Saints.