Did the Panthers secondary exceed expectations in 2020?

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Donte Jackson
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Donte Jackson /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) Rasul Douglas /

The Carolina Panthers secondary didn’t have much in the way of expectations going into the season, but just how well did they perform overall?

There was plenty of trepidation in the air regarding the Carolina Panthers‘ defense heading into the 2020 season. They parted ways with some established veterans in free agency, took the bold decision to let cornerback James Bradberry walk in favor of a move to the New York Giants, and the shock retirement of iconic linebacker Luke Kuechly was another hammer blow to the organization.

Considering all these factors, things didn’t end up being that bad.

Phil Snow deserves a tremendous amount of credit for overcoming some early jitters and gradually progressing his talented young unit as the campaign wore on, with their performance against the Green Bay Packers in a narrow loss arguably the icing on the cake.

Considering Bradberry wasn’t really replaced, the secondary was probably the biggest worry of all. However, despite some rocky moments and a frustrating soft coverage scheme, the group may have exceeded expectations to a certain extent.

Granted, the bar wasn’t exactly high.

But the only way is up if further improvements are made to personnel this offseason.

Pro Football Focus ranked the Panthers at No. 17 overall in their final 2020 secondary rankings. This is round about the middle of the pack, which is eye-catching when one considers they were expected to be among the worst.

Like many other positional groups, there is plenty of room for improvement. But when one studies the film, it wasn’t all bad by any stretch of the imagination.