3 reasons the Carolina Panthers will beat the NY Jets in Week 1

(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) Matt Rhule /

. 1 PM ET. 30. Sunday, Sept 12. 0-0. 87. 0-0.

The Carolina Panthers will open their 2021 season against the New York Jets this weekend in Charlotte.

It has been more than 250 days since the Carolina Panthers last took the field in a game that counted. But at long last, the wait is over.

Carolina opens its 2021 campaign tomorrow against the New York Jets, and according to just about all betting sites and experts, should be favorites to win.

The Panthers’ 5-11 record was less-than-impressive on paper. However, the amount of young talent that emerged offers plenty of hope for the new season.

Jeremy Chinn and Brian Burns have become anchors of a fast, athletic defense that should be much improved from last year, thanks to the additions of Jaycee Horn, Haason Reddick, and others.

On the offensive side of the ball, the Panthers have a renewed sense of optimism at the quarterback position after acquiring former third-overall pick Sam Darnold this offseason.

Carolina struggled in the passing game in 2020, despite having two 1,000-yard receivers in D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson. With Darnold at the helm, the return of Christian McCaffrey, and the drafting of Terrace Marshall Jr., expectations for the offense will be much higher in 2021.

Likewise, the Jets figure to be much better than they have been the past several years, beginning with Zach Wilson, who was drafted as Darnold’s replacement in New York.

The former BYU star has drawn comparisons to Dan Marino and Patrick Mahomes, performing well during preseason action.

Perhaps the biggest question mark for the Panthers in this matchup though is not containing Wilson, but blocking a very good Jets interior defensive line. Carolina will be without starting guard John Miller due to a positive COVID test, while Pat Elflein and Cameron Erving are former high draft picks still looking to establish themselves in the NFL.

If the offensive line can hold up and give Darnold time, there’s no reason to think the Panthers can’t beat the Jets. Especially if their exciting young defense plays up to its potential.

So with that being said, here are three reasons that they should win the season opener.