Carolina Panthers pre-draft 2021 record and division projections

(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) Sam Darnold
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) Sam Darnold /
4 of 8
Carolina Panthers
(George Frey/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports) Zach Wilson /

Carolina Panthers will beat the Jets

You know as soon as he was traded and was a member of the Carolina Panthers, Sam Darnold circled this matchup. The quarterback nor his new team are going to lose to this New York Jets roster regardless of who they draft No. 2 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft.

The Jets need talent at virtually every position and there is nothing better than a revenge game. Carolina is a far superior roster and will likely have the better quarterback when they square off.

If the Jets take Zach Wilson as projected, what weapons or protection can the Jets offer the rookie? This is the easiest win on Carolina’s schedule and if they cannot pull this game out something will have gone horribly awry for this team.

Based on the Darnold trade and the fact the Jets will be starting a rookie quarterback, this game is still very interesting despite the seemingly obvious outcome.  If it is indeed Wilson drafted he is the player who has the highest ceiling with the biggest bust potential, making each of the rookie’s games worth paying attention to.

This will be a game likely to rely heavily on Christian McCaffrey considering the Jets lack the personnel to stop the run game. This will be an easy win for Carolina.

Carolina Panthers will lose to the Patriots

Speaking of revenge games.

Cam Newton and the New England Patriots will be visiting the Carolina Panthers this year and after a bevy of free agency moves, they look to be a playoff team once again.

Panthers’ fans are well aware of just how good Newton can be. After a red hot start, last season COVID-19 seemed to knock the 2015 NFL MVP off of his game and he never seemed to return to form, struggling considerably down the stretch.

Still, the Patriots believe in Newton enough to bring him back and surround the veteran with a better supporting cast this time around.

This is now a playoff roster for the Patriots and the return to Carolina of Newton is going to be too much for the Panthers to handle.