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
(Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports) Tom Brady /

Carolina Panthers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

This could be the last dance for Tom Brady after his almost instant backtrack on retirement this offseason. Just what the legendary quarterback has to prove at 45 years old and with six rings is anyone’s guess, but it puts the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in pole position to win the NFC South and go deep into the playoffs once again.

There is a new head coach in Todd Bowles and plenty of weapons at Brady’s disposal. If the Carolina Panthers want to remain competitive against a team that’s had their number of late, everyone needs to perform up to or above expectations.

Carolina cannot afford any passengers in the face of such impressive opposition. This will be a good measuring stick to see where the Panthers are after the initial bedding-in period.

Divisional rivalries are always intense. But the Panthers need Baker Mayfield on red-hot form in pursuit of going toe-to-toe with Brady at Bank of America Stadium and perhaps pulling off an upset.

Prediction: Loss (4-3)

This might be a lot closer than people think. However, the Bucs should be considered favorites until Carolina proves worthy of challenging them.