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
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Brian Burns /

Carolina Panthers DE Brian Burns will have a breakout year with over 12.5 sacks

Boy, the offensive linemen tasked with containing Brian Burns are in for a rough ride it seems. This may not be that bold a prediction but the former Florida State star is primed to break out in a crazy way this upcoming season.

Burns was good in 2020 finishing the year with nine sacks and three forced fumbles. Expect an improvement in 2021.

The defensive line was one area the Carolina Panthers’ defense didn’t shine as much last season. Phil Snow’s unit ranked tied-23rd in sacks with just 29. Burns himself totaling almost one-third of those.

Snow now has a much-improved front seven at his disposal. General manager Scott Fitterer added Morgan Fox, DaQuan Jones, and the aforementioned Haason Reddick, alongside rookie Derrick Brown now entering his second year and improving.

Opposition offensive lines now have much more to contend with.

However, Burns will have to deal with a lot more double teams as teams try to combat his skills on the edge. Possibly opening the door for others to take the accolades.

The edge rusher was seemingly getting pressure at will during his limited time on the field during warmup games. One highlight was a big hit on Baltimore Ravens quarterback Tyler Huntley knocking the former Utah man’s helmet clean off.

Burns and his lightning-spin move coming off the left edge can trouble the best right tackle’s in the league. And with the talent now lined up alongside him, it would be a real surprise to see the Panthers languishing in the bottom third when it comes to sacks after the season.