Predicting the Carolina Panthers 2021 season game by game

(Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold
(Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule /

With the Carolina Panthers’ schedule officially released, we took an early look at how their campaign might go game-by-game in 2021.

The Carolina Panthers have a big season ahead of them in 2021. It’s been another extremely eventful few months in terms of player turnover ahead of the second year of Matt Rhule’s time as head coach, with the team looking to build on some encouraging performances last time out despite finishing with a 5-11 record.

Things will not be easy for the Panthers, of that there is little doubt. Much will depend on how their new quarterback Sam Darnold adjusts to his new surroundings after he was acquired via trade from the New York Jets, which represents a big gamble on a player who hasn’t shown much of anything over his three years in the league so far.

Talented young members of the roster must continue to develop their craft in the hope of improved production during the upcoming campaign. If the likes of Brian Burns, Derrick Brown, Jeremy Chinn, and Yetur Gross-Matos can all continue trending upward, Phil Snow’s defense should be one of the league’s most explosive.

There is also the small matter of running back Christian McCaffrey making a welcome return to health. The All-Pro turned out in just three games in 2020 due to various injury problems and having him in the lineup will be like a new signing for the Panthers next season.

With the schedule now confirmed, we took an in-depth look at Carolina’s season game by game and projected the outcome of each contest.