4 former Panthers with legitimate shot at Super Bowl glory in 2022

(Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey
(Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey /
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Which former Carolina Panthers have a legitimate shot at securing Super Bowl glory during the 2022 playoffs?

The Carolina Panthers missed out on playoff football once again despite a resurgence under interim head coach Steve Wilks. But there are many former players and coaches that are right in the thick of things.

Plenty of comings and goings have occurred to Carolina’s personnel in recent years. Many more will be on the way this offseason as the Panthers embark on a new era post-Matt Rhule.

For now, fans can look ahead with excitement or a sense of regret about seeing those who previously held positions in Carolina fighting to lift the Vince Lombardi Trophy later this year. All the while keeping a close eye on off-the-field developments at Bank of America Stadium.

With this in mind, here are four former Panthers with a legitimate shot at Super Bowl glory during the 2022 playoffs.

Former Panther No. 1

Carolina Panthers
(Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports) Eli Apple /

Eli Apple – Former Carolina Panthers CB

Eli Apple continues to start for the Cincinnati Bengals after he was cast aside by Matt Rhule, who claimed the veteran cornerback would never play anywhere again during a practice altercation. Yet another failed promise from a coach that was simply out of his depth at the NFL level.

The former Ohio State standout has moments of struggle, but he remains a core part of Cincinnati’s plans. Apple’s given up 57 percent of targets thrown his way and a 96.9 passer rating when targeted, so one could argue he’s playing the best football of his career to date.

The Bengals are getting hot at the right time. It would be a shock if an early postseason exit arrived for the defending AFC champions, but the conference is extremely competitive looking at the playoff picture.