4 daunting games on the Carolina Panthers 2021 schedule

(Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule and Ron Rivera
(Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule and Ron Rivera /
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Carolina Panthers
(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) Tom Brady /

Carolina Panthers vs/at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Week 16
  • Week 18

The Carolina Panthers were in a lot of close games last season without getting over the line in critical moments. But their two outings against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were a little more one-sided.

Their NFC South rivals made light work of the Panthers on two occasions during the campaign on their way to a playoff spot. What came next for the Bucs was nothing short of extraordinary and culminated in quarterback Tom Brady getting his seventh Super Bowl ring in his first season with the organization.

Another bold bid is expected from Bruce Arians’ side in 2021 after somehow keeping every single starter from their championship-winning team. This is almost unheard of in the current NFL and this was no doubt even harder to accomplish this offseason with a shrinking salary cap due to COVID-19 revenue losses.

Tampa Bay are the division favorites following the expected retirement of Drew Brees. They are undoubtedly the benchmark that all teams want to aspire to and if the Panthers can split the series with the defending Vince Lombardi Trophy holders, it would be a significant shot in the arm and further proof they are heading in the right direction.

However, that will be easier said than done.