Projecting win totals for every potential Panthers starting QB in 2022

(Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold
(Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /
4 of 5
Carolina Panthers
(Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports) Baker Mayfield /

Baker Mayfield

2021 stats:

  • 14 games
  • 6-8 record
  • 3,010 yards
  • 17 touchdowns
  • 13 interceptions
  • 60.5% completion

Baker Mayfield is the perfect example of the recency bias that plagues the NFL. A what have you done for me lately mentality that now sees the quarterback seeking alternative employment.

Admittedly 2021 was not the best year by any real metric for Mayfield. However, it’s easy to forget the fact that the former No. 1 overall selection was off to a blistering start before tearing the labrum in his non-throwing shoulder.

After that, things went downhill relatively fast as one would expect. But when healthy, Mayfield is a Pro Bowl option at quarterback that can win any game.

Scheme Fit:

Mayfield is coming from a team that is heavily centered around a powerful run game. That is something that would translate well to the Carolina Panthers if Christian McCaffrey is able to stay healthy.

This takes some of the pressure off of the quarterback’s shoulders. All in all this fit would be perfect for both parties looking for a fresh start.

Play Style:

The former Cleveland Browns starter loves the long ball. Deep shots are part of Mayfield’s DNA and something that was opened up well by the run game last season. However, you could see just how much that shoulder injury hampered him, especially later in the year as the damage snowballed.

Mayfield wasn’t able to be the hyper-aggressive, stand in the pocket, and take the hit. The best word for 2021 is “labored” and without something like that being a hindrance, there is still potential there.

Clutch Factor:

For this one, we need to take a step back to a healthy player in 2020 and see how things shook out. In that year Mayfield went 6-3 in games decided by at most 10 points and this stat just goes to show how clutch he can be when healthy.

And with that said, Mayfield even pulled out four of those games while injured in 2021. So the Clutch Factor is there for all to see.

Projected Record: 13-4

With Mayfield’s ability to go toe to toe with the best of the NFL, his clutch performances, and toughness and composure under pressure that few other players have, things will look very different for the Carolina Panthers.

I know this projection may seem optimistic. But that is just how big this trade could be.