Carolina Panthers: 5 matchups to watch vs. the Jets in Week 1
With the first regular-season game of 2021 rapidly approaching, what are some matchups to look out for when the New York Jets visit the Carolina Panthers in Week 1?
It’s almost time for 17 straight weeks of America’s most exciting sport and with it comes all of the anticipation of a new season and there is no exception when speaking of the Carolina Panthers.
With a new General Manager and quarterback in Scott Fitterer and Sam Darnold respectively and a second year under Matt Rhule and company, there is a not-so-quiet murmur as to just how far this team can go.
Anything can happen, any team can lift that trophy at the end of the Super Bowl. But that journey begins with one game and everyone starts at zero.
The importance of a fast start against weaker opponents cannot be understated, and while some teams like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers can come back from an opening day loss to win it all, most teams need to build momentum as quickly as they can. The Panthers hope to get that fast start against a reset New York Jets team in week one.
While neither the Panthers nor the Jets lived up to expectations in the 2020 season, they are two teams at a very different yet similar place.
With a 5-11 record last season the Panthers took a bit of a “Turn it off and on again” approach with the acquisition of Darnold and some other notable free agents and draft picks to more so retool than restart.
And while the former 3rd overall pick has sown glimpses of his potential during the preseason, the jury is still out on whether or not he can lead a winning team at the NFL level. But the hopes are high for at least a playoff season in 2021.
The Jets on the other hand completely burned their team to the ground after a disastrous 2-14 season, trading their former starter to the Panthers and drafting Zach Wilson at No.2 to replace him. While also bringing in Robert Saleh to try and turn things around for a franchise that has been less than successful for the better part of recent memory. A team that more so wants to see what they have than win games.