4 burning questions Carolina Panthers fans are asking ahead of Week 17

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Taylor Moton
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Taylor Moton /
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What burning questions are Carolina Panthers fans asking ahead of the team’s must-win road game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers?

If you had asked anyone, including me, in mid-October whether or not the Carolina Panthers had any shot at winning the NFC South, everyone would have said no. At that point in the season, the team’s odds of landing the No. 1 overall selection skyrocketed and the year was a complete embarrassment through six weeks.

Instead, the unthinkable happened. On New Year’s Day, the Panthers will be playing against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the division lead thanks to a no-quit attitude, incredible resilience, and toughness from the Steve Wilks-led squad.

Carolina is 5-5 under Wilks as interim head coach and has played to the best of their ability despite a rocky quarterback situation, key injuries, and an overhauled coaching staff following Matt Rhule’s firing.

We are also seeing a resurgence of sorts from quarterback Sam Darnold as well as one of the best run games in the league during the second half of the campaign behind a stout offensive line. Al Holcomb’s defense, while somewhat inconsistent with how he utilizes his personnel, has been just as good if not better than when Phil Snow was defensive coordinator.

It has been a rocky season, to put it lightly. However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Will the Panthers take advantage of this? We will find out Sunday.

Without further ado, here are some burning questions fans are asking ahead of the franchise’s biggest game in years at the Buccaneers this weekend.