Predicting the Carolina Panthers next five games after 1-3 start in 2022

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule /
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Carolina Panthers
(Sam Greene/Cincinnati Enquirer via USA TODAY NETWORK) Joe Burrow /

Carolina Panthers at Cincinnati Bengals

This is where it gets really tricky. The Carolina Panthers have a brutal run of games heading into their Week 13 bye, which begins with a trek to take on the defending AFC-champion Cincinnati Bengals.

Things didn’t go according to plan over the Bengals’ opening two games. But it’s been much better since quarterback Joe Burrow became comfortable behind an offensive line that received some significant investment this offseason.

His weapons in the passing game are elite. Ja’Marr Chase is dynamic and the emergence of former Clemson star Tee Higgins adds another layer that the Panthers must take seriously to stand any chance of success.

Prediction: Loss (2-7)

Going on the road to anyone in the AFC North is a challenge. And Cincinnatti’s underrated defense will look to get the better of Baker Mayfield – a player they saw plenty of during his time on the Cleveland Browns.

Carolina Panthers record after Week 9: 2-7

Considering this was the year when everything was supposed to come together for Matt Rhule and the Panthers, going 2-7 over their opening nine games would be nothing short of disastrous. Something that would plunge confidence to an all-time low for good measure.

Just what the tipping point will be for team owner David Tepper remains a mystery. Everyone’s patience has its limits, but the billionaire won’t want to lose face by admitting a very costly first hire since purchasing the organization from Jerry Richardson.

Fans deserve better. And in this scenario, a fresh start is the only solution at some stage.

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