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
(Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports) Najee Harris /

55. 0. Sunday, Dec 18. 0. 87. . 1 PM ET. CBS

Carolina Panthers vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

The Ben Roethlisberger era is officially over at the quarterback position after 18 seasons. But the Pittsburgh Steelers will not be thinking of rebuilding or transitioning slowly while Mike Tomlin is still their head coach.

This is still a team loaded with talent. But just who will start under center is now undetermined after the Steelers signed Mitchell Trubisky in free agency and drafted Kenny Pickett in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft.

Again, the Carolina Panthers will likely see this as a winnable contest on home soil. Even though there is a high chance of Pittsburgh’s loyal fanbase packing out Bank of America Stadium in a similar fashion to what we saw plenty of visiting supporters do in 2021.

If the Panthers are to get anything from any of their fixtures against AFC North clubs, they need to stand up, be physical, and win their individual battles. That means stopping running back Najee Harris, who is set to get more work than ever in the wake of Roethlisberger’s retirement.

Winning against the Steelers would be a step in the right direction. It could also suggest that Matt Rhule has learned some lessons about in-game adjustments – something that caused substantial complications last season and an area that Tomlin might look to exploit.