4 reasons the Carolina Panthers will beat the Browns in Week 1

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Jaycee Horn
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Jaycee Horn /
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Carolina Panthers
(Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports) Baker Mayfield /

Carolina Panthers have an X-factor at QB

Baker Mayfield is under the microscope more than ever before. Not only is the quarterback looking to reestablish himself as a productive NFL starter, but his first Carolina Panthers regular-season start comes against the team that deemed him surplus to requirements this offseason.

Revenge is a dish best served cold, as the old saying goes. And there is a steely determination in Mayfield’s eyes that could provide the X-factor needed to steer Carolina to an opening day triumph.

Mayfield has done his best to remove himself from the limelight and focus more on football leading up to the encounter. There will be no surprises from either side given their familiarity, but the Panthers are hoping the former No. 1 overall selection becomes the spark that ignites this offense to bigger and better things moving forward.

Nobody is expecting Mayfield to perform to the standard of Josh Allen or Patrick Mahomes. But if he can make plays at important times and protect the football, that might be enough for the Panthers to make legitimate strides in 2022.

Emotions will be running high and Mayfield’s pride won’t allow him to go down without a fight. Something that his teammates can hopefully feed off and raise their performance levels along the way.

light. Must Read. 4 ways Carolina Panthers QB Baker Mayfield can make his old team pay in Week 1