Final Carolina Panthers game-by-game predictions for the 2022 season

(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) Baker Mayfield
(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) Baker Mayfield /
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Carolina Panthers
(Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports) Trey Lance /

Carolina Panthers vs. San Francisco 49ers

There aren’t many more intriguing teams than the San Francisco 49ers in 2022. They have a roster primed for yet another deep postseason run, but their fortunes hinge squarely on the shoulders of quarterback Trey Lance during his first season as the team’s starter.

Lance is an enigmatic character. On one side, he was every physical tool imaginable to become a star, even if there is very little football experience to call upon in college or pros in recent years.

If Kyle Shanahan didn’t think Lance was ready, then Jimmy Garoppolo would be under center. The Niners have a phenomenal running game, a prolific offensive line, and one of the league’s best dual-threat weapons in Deebo Samuel to assist their new signal-caller next year and beyond, so this is an opportunity the North Dakota State product cannot waste.

Not only this, but San Francisco’s defense is also a force to be reckoned with led by prolific pass-rusher Nick Bosa. Simply put, this will be a tough challenge for the Carolina Panthers despite building some positive momentum over the first few weeks.

Prediction: Loss (4-1)

This doesn’t look like a good matchup for Carolina. Especially considering there are serious concerns about the team’s run-stopping ability that the Niners might expose at will.