4 major differences to expect from the Panthers offense in 2021

(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) Joe Brady
(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) Joe Brady /
3 of 5
Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Christian McCaffrey /

Less Christian McCaffrey

Perhaps the biggest takeaway from the 2020 season was that the Carolina Panthers need to take better care of their best player. Christian McCaffrey‘s workload finally caught up with him after an iron man-type start to his career, registering just three games throughout the campaign thanks to various injury problems.

Simply put, the Panthers cannot afford to have the All-Pro missing for so much time in 2021.

McCaffrey has shouldered plenty of responsibility almost from the moment he entered the league as a first-round pick back in 2017. But the simple fact of the matter is Carolina has more than enough talent on offense to take some heat away from the player moving forward.

Don’t get me wrong, McCaffrey will be the focal point.

However, keeping him fit and firing is absolutely pivotal to the Panthers’ chances of progression.

The dynamic weapons in the passing game should assist in this pursuit. Carolina also drafted Chuba Hubbard in the fourth round to compensate for Mike Davis’ departure to the Atlanta Falcons in free agency, so everything is in place for McCaffrey to get slightly fewer touches.

Just what sort of decrease we’re likely to see is unclear. There will be an obvious temptation to revert to type if things aren’t going the Panthers’ way in certain games, but this obviously brings its own set of complications judging by what we saw last time around.