5 big plans most likely to go wrong for the Panthers in 2021

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Christian McCaffrey
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Christian McCaffrey /
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Carolina Panthers
(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey /

Taking the load off Christian McCaffrey

It would be foolish of the Carolina Panthers not to take some heat off Christian McCaffrey moving forward. The star running back featured just three times in 2020 due to various injury concerns, which was a far cry from the image he portrayed over the first three years of his career.

McCaffrey’s presence on the field is pivotal for the Panthers. So utilizing other dynamic weapons more prominently – including rookie Chuba Hubbard – is the smart move at this juncture.

However, when things aren’t quite going Carolina’s way, there will be an obvious temptation to go back into old habits and just constantly feed McCaffrey the football.

Bad idea.

Hopefully, the Panthers can be competitive against high-class opposition next season. Something we saw plenty of in the first year under Matt Rhule.

If they can do this without putting additional strain on McCaffrey, the All-Pro will be better placed to impact proceedings with the game on the line.

Much will depend on whether Carolina can get enough from other areas. D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson are a dynamic duo at wide receiver, but the likes of Terrace Marshall Jr., David Moore, and tight end Dan Arnold need to stand up and be counted.