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 /
4 of 4
Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Derrick Brown /

0. 87. . 1 PM ET. 50. FOX. Sunday, Dec 24. 0

Carolina Panthers vs. Detroit Lions – Week 16

Upon examining the 2022 schedule, one could argue that playing the Detroit Lions at home would be a slam dunk. But it might not be that easy this time around given the mentality and belief that head coach Dan Campbell is installing across the organization.

Detroit ended up with one of the league’s worst records in 2021 and the No. 2 overall selection. But their effort from start to finish could not be faulted, even if the quality just wasn’t there more often than not.

Another strong offseason period of recruitment has hopes high that the Lions can become bigger players in the NFC North next time around. One could even argue they have more promising aspirations than the Carolina Panthers right now, in all honesty.

This is Carolina’s final clash of the season at Bank of America Stadium and the team will not want to send fans home on Christmas Eve with nothing to celebrate. And make no mistake, this could be a toxic atmosphere if things have unraveled in a similar fashion to the 2021 season.

5 pending Carolina Panthers free agents who won’t be back in 2023. light. Must Read

The Lions might not be a laughing stock for much longer, but this is a game that the Panthers cannot emerge from with anything other than a win. Otherwise, things are going to get very messy indeed heading into two final road games at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New Orleans Saints.