Baker Mayfield leads Carolina Panthers to the playoffs
There is no doubt Baker Mayfield makes the Carolina Panthers better. But by how much is the question that will determine the team’s fortunes in 2022.
The last time Mayfield was 100 percent healthy, he attained an 11-5 record with the Cleveland Browns en route to a playoff berth. He also played a significant role in the team gaining a memorable postseason triumph over the Pittsburgh Steelers, their first since 1994.
Obviously, things did not go according to plan last time around. Mayfield should be extra-motivated to put things right with the Panthers and there are enough gifted players across the roster to make strides providing his production under center goes as expected.
This also depends on whether Matt Rhule can finally start proving capable of being a competent NFL head coach. If this also transpires, then a playoff berth for Carolina is an ambitious target the team can aim for next season.
The NFC is not expected to be that strong outside of a few teams. So if the Panthers and Mayfield can get to eight or nine wins, that might be enough for a wildcard berth.
Looking at Carolina’s schedule, a good start is absolutely crucial. If Mayfield can pick Ben McAdoo’s scheme up quickly and develop chemistry with his teammates in training camp, then they might just have a chance at surprising many who’ve written them off.