Panthers game-by-game predictions in 2022 after Baker Mayfield trade

(Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports) Baker Mayfield
(Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports) Baker Mayfield /
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How could the Carolina Panthers fare in 2022 after the organization secured the services of quarterback Baker Mayfield from the Cleveland Browns?

The Carolina Panthers made their play at the quarterback position after months of speculation and searching. Baker Mayfield officially joined the team this week and although he represents an immediate upgrade on Sam Darnold, there’s just no telling how things will go in 2022.

Mayfield is a maverick who was cast aside by the Cleveland Browns despite playing last season with a torn labrum. This was ill-advised in hindsight, but the signal-caller has an instant shot at redemption after the Panthers finally got their man.

This represents another significant gamble from the Panthers and head coach Matt Rhule. If it all goes wrong, then Carolina will likely pull the plug on this particular experiment and that is why moving forward with Darnold was not an option.

With this in mind, we made a game-by-game prediction for the Panthers with Mayfield under center in 2022.

Week 1

Carolina Panthers
(Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports) Baker Mayfield /

Carolina Panthers vs. Cleveland Browns

Fate is a weird and wonderful thing.

As it happens, Baker Mayfield’s first game for the Carolina Panthers will be against the team that made him surplus to requirements once they acquired Deshaun Watson to the Houston Texans. An immediate chance to hit the ground running and make a massive statement.

Obviously, nobody will know more about how to prevent Mayfield from doing his thing than the Cleveland Browns coaching staff. But the player might also have a trick or two up his sleeve that could sway things in the Panthers’ favor.

Prediction: Win (1-0)

It looks like Watson will be suspended from the contest due to sexual misconduct. The added motivation for Mayfield could also swing the tide in pursuit of an opening day triumph.