5 bold predictions for the Carolina Panthers’ 2021 season

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Brian Burns
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Brian Burns /
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Carolina Panthers
(Alex Hicks Jr./The Spartanburg Herald-Journal via IMAGN Content Services) Matt Rhule /

What are some bold predictions to make for the Carolina Panthers ahead of a vitally important 2021 season in the second year of Matt Rhule’s reign?

It’s almost that time of the year again. Carolina Panthers football is less than two weeks away when the New York Jets and No. 2 overall selection Zach Wilson will roll into Charlotte.

The Panthers closed out the preseason with a 34-9 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers this past Friday at Bank of America stadium. This gave fans their first prolonged look at several starters including offseason acquisition Sam Darnold.

Darnold grew into the game nicely after a slightly nervous start, ending the half 19-25 for 162 passing yards and two touchdowns to Robby Anderson and rookie Terrace Marshall Jr.

The Panthers’ defense was also impressive, shutting out an under-strength Pittsburgh offense in the first half to further heighten expectations surrounding the group during what promises to be a fascinating campaign.

Higher stakes surround the Panthers with a more structured offseason period for Matt Rhule and his staff to utilize. What adjustments they’ve made during the preparation period and how this young, hungry roster performs when it matters most could have some pretty big ramifications when it’s all said and done.

So with Panthers football just around the corner, we look ahead with five bold predictions ahead of the 2021 season.