Floor, ceiling and reality projections for the Panthers in 2021

Dean Jones
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold and Matt Rhule
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold and Matt Rhule /
2 of 4
Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /

Carolina Panthers 2021 record: The floor

  • 4-5 wins

It would be remiss if we didn’t first examine just what the floor might be for the Carolina Panthers in 2021.

This is always the worst-case scenario and would come with some pretty big ramifications for certain members of the organization. But that’s not to say things won’t go wrong in Carolina once again.

The obvious question marks surround Sam Darnold and those protecting the quarterback. This is his opportunity to prove he can become a starting-caliber player at the position following his trade from the New York Jets, but it’s a feast of famine acquisition whichever way one looks at it.

Hopes are high for Darnold. And the coaching staff believes in his ability.

But if the signal-caller bombs out again, the Panthers can kiss their chances of a winning record goodbye no matter how good their defense is.

The stakes could not be much higher for Darnold in 2021.

Carolina has hitched their wagon to him in the short term and hopes he can eventually become Cam Newton’s successor after Teddy Bridgewater failed to meet these objectives last time around.

One couldn’t say with any great confidence that Darnold is capable of a drastic turnaround judging by what we’ve seen so far. This move is a stab in the dark to a certain extent and if the gamble doesn’t pay off, things could turn sour pretty quickly.