3 silver linings from the Carolina Panthers 2021 season

(Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule
(Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule /
1 of 3
Carolina Panthers
(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /

What are some silver linings the Carolina Panthers can take from what quickly developed into another torrid season in 2021?

This year was disappointing, to say the least. With a 5-12 record, multiple quarterback changes, injuries to key individuals, and other obvious frailties, there were many things to make smiles turn to frowns despite such a promising start for the Carolina Panthers.

After a 41-17 defeat to Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers on the road to conclude the campaign, thoughts now turn to reflect on the 2021 season and planning for the future.

With so much uncertainty and a somber feel to the season, it’s easy to forget that there were some positive elements to take from another five-win year, no playoff football, and more questions than ever before surrounding this Panthers coaching staff.

With this in mind, here are three silver linings that Carolina’s loyal fans can take from 2021.

Silver Lining No. 1

Carolina Panthers
(Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports) Brian Burns /

Carolina Panthers defense

The Carolina Panthers’ defense was ranked second in yards allowed across the entire league. Some free-agent players came into the squad and others stepped into roles that contributed to Phil Snow’s unit becoming statistically being good, in this category at least.

Offseason free agents Hasan Reddick and A.J. Bouye brought their veteran knowledge. Add the in-season trade for Stephon Gilmore from the New England Patriots and you’re bringing in a contingency of guys who’ve been around the block in terms of defensive know-how in the NFL.

Not only was acquiring this talent, but we’ve seen players grow into the role of young veterans. Players like Brian Burns and Jeremy Chinn showed leadership at times which will only benefit Carolina in 2022 and beyond.