6 games that will make-or-break Carolina Panthers’ 2022 season

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold and Matt Rhule
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold and Matt Rhule /
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Carolina Panthers
(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) Tom Brady /

Carolina Panthers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Week 7 (Home)
  • Week 17 (Road)

For a brief period this offseason, it looked like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were going to go through a period of transition when quarterback Tom Brady announced his retirement after a glittering career. This also opened a window of opportunity for the Carolina Panthers and others in the NFC South providing they managed to get their own houses in order, first.

As it turned out, that wasn’t going to be the case.

Brady spent just 40 days on the couch before deciding he had much more to give. Unretiring immediately saw some veteran free agents also re-sign with the Buccaneers, making them the clear favorites to take the divisional crown once again.

Carolina’s two games against Tampa Bay in 2022 will be a tremendous measuring stick. It will tell us how far the Panthers have come and how much more needs to be done to get this team challenging for honors.

The legendary signal-caller made headlines this week by signing a bumper contract with FOX Sports to become their lead analyst when he eventually calls it a day for good. That could be as early as 2023 depending on how the Buccaneers get on this time around.

Carolina splitting their divisional games with the 2020 Super Bowl champions will be seen as progress. Especially considering how easy things have been for the Bucs over the last two years.