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
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /

Carolina Panthers QB Sam Darnold will end the season with more touchdowns than Zach Wilson

A lot of this is based on the performance of the aforementioned offensive line. Both the New York Jets and the Carolina Panthers do struggle here.

The Jets did draft USC guard Alijah Vera-Tucker at No. 14 overall. But apart from that, there are no changes to the line that offered Sam Darnold so little protection in 2020.

Also, Darnold and the Panthers have a much bigger variety of weapons at their disposal than New York.  However, the Jets did improve in the offseason acquiring former Tennessee Titans wideout Corey Davis and drafting Elijah Moore in the second round.

Moore had a monster 2020 for the Rebels finishing the season with a school-record 86 receptions for more than 1,100 yards and eight touchdowns in just eight games before opting out to prepare for the draft.

Zach Wilson was taken No. 2 overall out of BYU where he simply balled out. Questions were asked about the quality of his opposition, however.

That being said, Wilson still totaled over 3,500 passing yards and 33 scores with only three picks in 2020. Despite these improvements from Darnold’s time at MetLife Stadium, one could say the Panthers have a more impressive array of weapons.

The fact the Jets go into the season without Adam Gase having replaced him with former San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh may help them. If Darnold can banish his demons from New York and the offensive line gives him the protection he requires, there’s every chance the signal-caller outshines his replacement.