3 realistic targets for the Carolina Panthers in 2021

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Brian Burns
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Brian Burns /
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Carolina Panthers
(Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /

What are some realistic targets for the Carolina Panthers during the second year of head coach Matt Rhule’s reign in 2021?

The pressure might not be truly on the Carolina Panthers at this stage of their rebuild. But team owner David Tepper will be wanting to see some steady improvement from a franchise that hasn’t secured a winning record since the 2017 campaign.

That is a long time for Carolina’s long-suffering fanbase to be cheering losing football. Tepper himself has yet to see any sort of return on his $2.3 billion investment after buying the Panthers from Jerry Richardson, with the main man also shelling out a significant amount to put the necessary foundations in place for the organization to become an industry leader both on and off the field.

Now that Tepper has his men in place following the arrival of general manager Scott Fitterer from the Seattle Seahawks, there will be no more excuses outside of poor production. The Panthers have been bold with their offseason moves that center around the acquisition of Sam Darnold from the New York Jets, and how the signal-caller gets on in a more structured environment is going to ultimately determine just how far Carolina can go in 2021.

There is plenty of talent on both sides of the football to ensure they can be competitive against Super Bowl contending teams again, at the very least. If the Panthers can turn some of their close defeats into victories, then a possible postseason place may not be far behind.

With this in mind, let’s take a look at three realistic targets that the Panthers can aim for in 2021.