4 critical games the Carolina Panthers cannot afford to lose in 2022

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule and Christian McCaffrey
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule and Christian McCaffrey /
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Carolina Panthers
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Carolina Panthers vs. Atlanta Falcons – Week 10

The Carolina Panthers have just one primetime game in 2022. Not entirely surprising when one considers Charlotte is a relatively small market and how much the team has struggled in recent years.

Their one outing on the national stage comes in Week 10 at home to the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday Night Football. It also represents a must-win game for the Panthers against an NFC South divisional foe that is expected to find life difficult next season.

Atlanta has undergone some landmark changes this offseason. Their pursuit of Deshaun Watson failed and even forced them into trading Matt Ryan to the Indianapolis Colts, which leaves them with Marcus Mariota and rookie Desmond Ridder as their quarterback tandem next time around.

Couple this with Calvin Ridley’s year-long suspension and things are not looking too optimistic. Something the Panthers have to take advantage of during their two clashes against the Falcons.

If the Panthers can win and put on a show in front of the Amazon Prime viewers, then it might see TV bosses look at them a little differently when it’s time to choose the 2023 games.

However, that won’t matter to Matt Rhule, who’ll just want to come out of this one relatively unscathed when it’s all said and done.