What are some critical factors to what will hopefully become a successful season for Carolina Panthers quarterback Baker Mayfield in 2022?
We are just a few short days away from Baker Mayfield starting for the Carolina Panthers in a competitive game. And what an occasion it promises to be when the quarterback goes up against the Cleveland Browns – the team that drafted him No. 1 overall in 2018 before casting him aside after four seasons.
Mayfield has taken everything in his stride this offseason, ignoring the outside noise and focusing on making the most out of his fresh start in Carolina. This not only won him the job over Sam Darnold, but it installed a sense of belief that hasn’t been seen under center in quite some time.
The Panthers need to provide Mayfield with everything he needs to make a better go of things. Sunday’s game is a chance for immediate revenge and to set the tone, but it’s easy to forget there are 16 more contests during a long, hard season.
With this in mind, here are some critical areas that can help Mayfield thrive with the Panthers next season.
Critical Area No. 1
Carolina Panthers OL must meet expectations
If Baker Mayfield cannot get enough time in the pocket, then it could be a tough task for the signal-caller to put up the numbers needed. Thankfully, the Carolina Panthers made some significant improvements to their offensive line during the offseason, which should improve consistency if everything clicks into place right away.
Ikem Ekwonu, Brady Christensen, Austin Corbett, and Bradley Bozeman are four new starters on the protection alongside Taylor Moton. Carolina also has James Campen, one of the best offensive line coaches in the business.
If this critical area of the field meets or perhaps even exceeds expectations, then Mayfield has enough talent to make things happen.