4 ways the Panthers can win without Christian McCaffrey in 2022
By Dean Jones
Carolina Panthers pass-catchers must step up
Christian McCaffrey is much more than a running back. His presence in the backfield instantly changes the way teams approach things defensively and the player’s prowess in the passing game is renowned and feared in equal measure.
Once this was taken away in 2021, it exposed Sam Darnold for what he is without the league’s best security blanket wrapped around the quarterback. This was also a big reason why many Carolina Panthers pass-catchers struggled to make any sort of impression outside of D.J. Moore, who went over 1,000 yards once again and earned himself a big-time payday in the process.
If McCaffrey missed a considerable portion of time next season, then the same cannot happen again. Although much will also depend on just who the Panthers go with at the most important position on the field.
The likes of Robbie Anderson, Terrace Marshall Jr., Shi Smith, and free-agent signing Rashard Higgins have to provide better numbers. This bears significance with McCaffrey involved and should more attention come their way in the All-Pro’s absence.
Hopefully, the Panthers already have a concise plan in place should McCaffrey go down once again. Something that will hinder their hopes of being competitive in 2022 and might even see those in power become more receptive to trading their prized asset.