4 reasons the Carolina Panthers might struggle in 2022

(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule
(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule /
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Carolina Panthers
(Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports) Shaq Thompson /

Carolina Panthers have questions on the defensive front seven

Phil Snow’s defense shone during the first half of 2021 before things tailed off down the stretch. The inept offense didn’t exactly help matters, but things are hanging in the balance in this area of the field after some big names departed the Carolina Panthers in free agency.

No longer can the Panthers call upon Stephon Gilmore, DaQuan Jones, and stud pass-rusher Haason Reddick. Those in power also let Jermaine Carter walk after an inconsistent season occupying the middle linebacker position.

Recruitment wasn’t exactly prioritized to bolster their front seven on defense. Something that could end up hindering their hopes of being competitive unless everything comes together in a short space of time.

There are so many questions surrounding the defensive front and second level.

  • How will the Panthers compensate for Reddick’s departure?
  • Can Matt Ioannidis become an adequate partner for Derrick Brown?
  • Do the Panthers have enough at middle linebacker?
  • Can Brian Burns take another leap?
  • Can the young guns make major improvements?

All of these have yet to be determined. Carolina is counting on some major draft investments under Matt Rhule to reap some serious rewards in 2022 and if they don’t, then it’s going to become a significant problem.

Carolina’s secondary looks set to make waves. But if the right consistency cannot be found up front, it’s going to make life extremely difficult.