5 bold predictions for the Panthers preseason finale vs. Steelers

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Brian Burns
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Brian Burns /
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Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey /

Here are some bold predictions as the Carolina Panthers go in search of their first victory of the preseason against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

There is more intrigue surrounding the Carolina Panthers than most teams entering the final weekend of preseason games. This is due to Matt Rhule’s starters taking the field for the first time over a prolonged period against the Pittsburgh Steelers, with the head coach declaring they’ll play as much as one half to close out the preparation period.

Such an approach is a complete reverse to what teams normally do across the league. The Panthers are putting this down to the roster cut process and the long wait between Friday’s game and their Week 1 contest against the New York Jets.

This is a chance for Sam Darnold and his teammates to generate some momentum against Pittsburgh’s second string, with Mike Tomlin deciding on resting the majority of his starters including veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

It’ll be a game not to miss for Carolina’s loyal fanbase. Here are five bold predictions for the preseason finale.

Bold Prediction No. 1

Cam Erving will perform well as Carolina Panthers LT

The fact that this is a bold prediction is proof positive of just how many concerns there are surrounding Cam Erving’s production in 2021. The offensive lineman comes into the campaign with some big-time questions and the only way he can answer them is by producing the goods on the field.

Erving’s consistency on the edge has been called into question since he entered the league as a first-round pick. He looks better on the interior, but the Panthers are keen to see how he performs on the blindside for an offensive line that could end up being a weak link compared to other areas on the depth chart.

This is a good chance for Erving to start on the right foot. Not going up against Pittsburgh’s first front seven should also assist him.