4 reasons why the Carolina Panthers could struggle in 2021

Dean Jones
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Matt Rhule
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Matt Rhule /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /

Sam Darnold flops for the Carolina Panthers

As stated previously, the pressure on quarterback Sam Darnold heading into the 2021 season is immense. The signal-caller is getting a pass for a torrid three years with the New York Jets and the Carolina Panthers are hoping he can make a real go of things in a progressive scheme with far more talent around him.

Darnold needs to rid himself of some demons – and quickly – to achieve his objectives.

There’s just no telling what his time at MetLife Stadium has done to his confidence. Darnold was running for his life behind a putrid offensive line more often than not. This led to some costly errors and the team eventually deciding to move forward with BYU‘s exciting prospect Zach Wilson.

What comes next will be down to whether Darnold is talented enough. Much will depend on the protection in front of him, but he’s got two outstanding wide receivers on the outside and the NFL’s best dual-threat running back alongside him in the backfield.

Expectations are high. But on the evidence Darnold has provided so far, it could go either way and if he fails to meet expectations, another losing season for Carolina will undoubtedly follow.

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Bombing out once again will be the end of Darnold’s aspirations of being a starter. The Panthers have placed a lot of faith in the former USC star this offseason – sending Teddy Bridgewater to the Denver Broncos – but now is the time for him to start delivering.