4 remaining obstacles preventing Panthers long-term progress

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Steve Wilks
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Steve Wilks /
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What obstacles remain for the Carolina Panthers in pursuit of genuine progression during the 2022 season and beyond?

The Carolina Panthers have hope for the future despite things not going quite according to plan in 2022. Matt Rhule’s firing and the introduction of interim head coach Steve Wilks caused a complete cultural rest within the organization, which is returning to the foundation that made them so successful when the likes of Cam Newton, Luke Kuechly, Steve Smith, and Thomas Davis led the charge.

This has brought three straight victories at Bank of America Stadium since Wilks took over. Whether it’s enough for the Panthers to make him the permanent appointment remains to be seen, but it’s gone far better than many anticipated after such a disastrous start.

Carolina has some great pieces in place to potentially contend down the road. But this offseason is incredibly important and almost every decision made by those in power must be correct.

With this in mind, here are four remaining obstacles preventing long-term progression in Carolina this season and beyond.

Obstacle No. 1

Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Brian Burns /

Carolina Panthers need more pass-rushing options

The exceptional consistency displayed by Brian Burns this season is set to make him a very rich man next spring. He’s already at double-digit sacks for the first time and is a constant menace flying off the edge – a remarkable accomplishment considering the extra attention coming his way from opposing protection schemes.

Despite this, the Carolina Panthers need more pass-rushing options to further boost a defense that’s come to life in recent weeks. Yetur Gross-Matos is developing against the run, but his inability to create havoc in opposing backfields indicate more is needed moving forward.

It might be worth the Panthers using one of their high-end selections on another alternative. Something that would add another dimension to Carolina’s blossoming defensive front.