4 things Panthers fans can look forward to after the 2022 bye week

Dean Jones
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Brian Burns
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Brian Burns /
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Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Brian Burns /

Carolina Panthers’ defensive progress

Aside from their meltdown at the Cincinnati Bengals, it’s been pleasing to see the recent resurgence on defense. Steve Wilks made a big call by firing long-time Matt Rhule loyalist Phil Snow and replacing him with Al Holcomb, but it’s paying off so far and there could be additional progress to come in the next five weeks.

Their complete dominance of the Denver Broncos in Week 12 made everyone sit up and take notice. This all started up front with the sensational Brian Burns, who was absolutely relentless from start to finish en route to winning NFC Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts.

Burns is the heartbeat of everything good on the defensive front. Derrick Brown’s emergence into one of the NFL’s most dominant interior linemen is also setting the tone consistently, which has been a huge plus from what could be yet another losing season in Carolina.

With difference-makers such as Jaycee Horn and Jeremy Chinn to also call upon, how this group performs down the stretch will be a crucial component to any further accomplishments coming the Panthers’ way. And make no mistake, they are all fighting incredibly hard for Wilks in the hope it can convince team owner David Tepper to make a bigger commitment.

Carolina’s remaining schedule doesn’t boast what could be classed as a potent offense based on what’s transpired throughout the campaign. So opportunity knocks for Holcomb’s unit in the coming weeks.