5 bold predictions for the Carolina Panthers’ 2021 season

Nick Halden
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Sam Darnold
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Sam Darnold /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /

Sam Darnold will rise and to the occasion and make his long-awaited playoff debut

Okay bear with me here, this is without a doubt my biggest leap.

It is also a take I firmly believe in.

This Carolina Panthers team is a better roster and for me, the aforementioned Julio Jones trade swung momentum in their favor by a win – which could make all the difference.

That one victory is going to be enough to get this team into the playoffs as the final wildcard. While I believe one postseason game will be as far as this team gets, it certainly would be enough of a leap after a dismal 2020 campaign.

This prediction is hinged on three very scary factors.

Christian McCaffrey staying healthy.

The Falcons doing the expected.

And Sam Darnold playing to the level he is capable of as a point guard not as the superhero he attempted to be with the New York Jets.

McCaffrey remaining on the field will be the biggest potential impact for this team. If he can do this, Carolina’s dynamic offense is going to consistently score and hit home run plays with defenders staying home trying to stop the running game.

If he is healthy this team is making the playoffs, something we haven’t see happen since Cam Newton’s prime. Coming into the year this team is arguably the biggest question mark in the NFC, they will exit the season as the biggest surprise contender of 2021 providing Darnold can live up to his end of the bargain.