Panthers game-by-game predictions for second half of 2022 season
By Dean Jones
Carolina Panthers at Saints
The Carolina Panthers round off another season of underachievement with a visit to the New Orleans Saints. This has not exactly been the happiest hunting ground for Steve Wilks’ squad in recent years.
It’s not the same Saints team that had a firm grip on the NFC South during the days of Sean Payton and Drew Brees. And what makes things worse for New Orleans is that they are giving up their 2023 first-rounder – likely to be top-10 – to the Philadelphia Eagles after their high-profile trade last spring.
Wilks could also be embarking on his final game as Panthers’ interim head coach. He’s had an extended audition for the role long-term, but much will depend on how team owner David Tepper perceives his progression and how encouragingly players have responded to more professional methods.
Prediction: Loss (5-12)
Another losing season is almost assured for the Panthers. But five wins could put them out of reach of the top-two quarterback prospects entering the league in 2023.
There are others outside of Bryce Young and C.J. Stroud that provide intrigue. However, none of these are likely to start right away and that represents a potential complication for any incoming head coach if Wilks doesn’t win the job.
It’s going to be a long road back for the Panthers. Just how long will be dependent on the moves made during one of the most important offseasons in franchise history.