How will the struggling Carolina Panthers fare in their next crucial five games after opening the 2022 season with a 1-3 record?
The doom and gloom returned to the Carolina Panthers in Week 4 after another demoralizing defeat to the Arizona Cardinals, a team they’ve enjoyed a tremendous amount of success against for almost a decade.
An inept offensive performance coupled with a tiring defense down the stretch once again became the catalyst behind their demise. This saw pressure increase further on head coach Matt Rhule and his hopes of getting this organization back to some sort of relevancy.
Patience is wearing extremely thin within the fanbase, who made their feelings clear from the stands at Bank of America Stadium. The next few weeks are of critical importance for Rhule, who is already facing significant questions about his long-term future after Carolina’s tenth defeat in their last 11 contests.
With this in mind, we predicted how things might go for the Panthers over their next five fixtures heading into the midseason point.
Carolina Panthers vs. San Francisco 49ers
If the Carolina Panthers were hoping for some respite in Week 5 – the last of a three-game home stretch – they are out of luck. The San Francisco 49ers represent a significant test despite losing quarterback Trey Lance for the season, with Kyle Shanahan’s men boasting an elite defense and some gifted offensive playmakers capable of changing any contest.
Considering how poorly things are going for Ben McAdoo and Baker Mayfield, it’s hard to predict a drastically positive turnaround. Especially against a defensive unit that’s ranked No. 1 in most statistical categories through four games.
Prediction: Loss (1-4)
This also looks to be a bad matchup in terms of Shanahan’s scheme, which is run-heavy with players such as Deebo Samuel making things happen in the passing game. So don’t be surprised if the Panthers fall to another disappointing defeat on home soil.