Now that the schedule has finally been released, what games could be set to make or break the Carolina Panthers’ season in 2022?
The Carolina Panthers and head coach Matt Rhule have a significant amount on the line in 2022. Everything seems to be in position after a strong period of recruitment and genuine NFL coaches coming on board this offseason, so the former Baylor man has to get things absolutely spot on to avoid further doubts about his job status.
Rhule is a man under fire, even if he did get the support of team owner David Tepper when all signs pointed to a change in direction. However, if the Panthers fail to meet expectations once again, then the billionaire will think long and hard about removing his guy from the equation just three seasons into his seven-year, $62 million deal.
There is an abundance of young talent with the right mix of veteran leadership in Carolina. It will not be easy, but a surprising campaign could be in the offing if everything goes well.
With this in mind, here are six games that will make or break Carolina’s 2022 season.
Game No. 1
Carolina Panthers vs. Cleveland Browns
Well, if it isn’t fate knocking at the door for this one.
After a year-long pursuit of Deshaun Watson that ended in failure, the Carolina Panthers could now be facing the quarterback on his Cleveland Browns debut in Week 1. Of course, that is providing the former Clemson star doesn’t get hit with a suspension before competitive action begins.
The Browns are expected to make a bold bid for the Super Bowl in 2022 with a loaded roster that only improved during the offseason. If Watson gets a reprieve from the NFL, then this is going to be a stern early test of Carolina’s credentials.
There is also the ongoing situation with Baker Mayfield to consider. The Panthers haven’t closed the door entirely on a potential trade, which would send hype for this game through the roof.