Predicting the Carolina Panthers 2021 season game by game

Dean Jones
(Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold
(Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /
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Carolina Panthers
(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Xavien Howard /

Carolina Panthers at Miami Dolphins

  • Week 12 (Sunday, November 28)
  • 1 pm
  • FOX

The Carolina Panthers’ final game before their long-awaited Week 13 bye comes at the Miami Dolphins, who have steadily progressed under head coach Brian Flores and could be set to make some more noise in 2021. Their fortunes lie squarely on the shoulders of second-year quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who went through some rookie complications that need to be eradicated in Year 2.

Having Will Fuller, Jaylen Waddle, and DeVante Parker as his wideout trio won’t hurt. All three have exceptional speed and the playmaking ability to match. Tagovailoa is also set to benefit from a prominent pass-catching tight end in Mike Gesicki both across the middle and in the red zone, so it’s hard to envisage a situation where he cannot achieve more as the unquestioned starter.

Couple this with a dynamic young defense led by All-Pro cornerback Xavien Howard, and it’s not hard to see why the Dolphins are quietly fancied to make the postseason in 2021.

Prediction: Loss

Defeat here leaves the Panthers sitting at 7-5 at the bye week following a hugely impressive start and a mid-season slump. However, there will still be all to play for when Carolina gets a huge period of rest that lasts all the way up to December 12.