Extremely early Carolina Panthers game-by-game 2022 record prediction

(Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule
(Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule /
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Carolina Panthers
(Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports) Kyler Murray /

0. FOX. Sunday, Oct 2. 0. 32. 87. . 4.05 PM ET

Carolina Panthers vs. Arizona Cardinals

This is the best possible time to be playing the Arizona Cardinals.

Make absolutely no mistake about that.

The Carolina Panthers will not have to deal with DeAndre Hopkins in Week 4 after the prolific wide receiver was given a six-game suspension for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy. A ruling that the All-Pro was initially going to challenge before accepting his fate.

Arizona looked like a completely different team without Hopkins last season. His absence led to quarterback Kyler Murray regressing considerably and although they made the playoffs, it was a swift exit and one that ended up being a major disappointment given how well Kliff Kingsbury’s men began the campaign.

Again, this will be dependent on whether the Panthers have their own house in order. And the Cardinals did trade for Marquise ‘Hollywood’ Brown, who was a favorite target of Murray’s in college.

Week 4 Prediction: Win (3-1)

If the Panthers can generate pressure on Murray and force him into throwing the football rather than running out of the backfield, they might just have a chance. And a 3-1 start to open the campaign would be a major boost to everyone associated with the franchise.