3 former Carolina Panthers who thrived over wildcard weekend

A few former Carolina Panthers coaches and players were thriving during wildcard weekend.

Baker Mayfield
Baker Mayfield / Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
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Which former Carolina Panthers excelled during a dramatic wildcard playoff weekend across the NFL landscape?

The Carolina Panthers had to sit back and watch some of their former players and coaches enjoy success over wildcard weekend. If you look across the remaining playoff teams, you'll see a ton of individuals previously employed by the organization enjoying the postseason ride.

The Panthers were the worst team in football and pulled the plug on the Frank Reich experiment before he even finished his first season. Perhaps the call to not make former interim head coach Steve Wilks the permanent hire was a mistake. Anyway, Carolina is currently embarking on yet another journey to find a head coach and general manager.

This struggling franchise needs fresh faces to coach the team and build the roster. It also needs a lot of talent, especially on offense. Simply put, there is a lot of hard work ahead for the new arrivals once their appointments are confirmed.

That's for the not-too-distant future. For now, let's look at four former Panthers who thrived over wildcard weekend.

Baker Mayfield - Former Carolina Panthers QB

Baker Mayfield started six games for the Carolina Panthers in 2022. The team went 1-5 in those starts. The quarterback tossed six touchdowns and six interceptions as things spiraled out of control under Matt Rhule.

The Panthers ended that experiment as Mayfield latched on with the Los Angeles Rams for five contests after a release request was granted. He was much more efficient. His passer rating jumped 12 points thanks to improved consistency under a legitimate head coach in Sean McVay.

Mayfield got another opportunity to start with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a result. To say he's played well would be a massive understatement.

He's enjoyed the best season of his career, throwing 31 touchdowns against 10 interceptions between the regular and postseason. The Buccaneers went 9-8 and earned the No. 4 seed. They dismantled the defending NFC champion Philadelphia Eagles in the wildcard round.

Mayfield now looks poised to sign a rich extension with the Bucs. There is no way they won't bring him back in 2024. From being cast off by the Panthers to playing in the divisional round this weekend, the former Oklahoma phenom has fought back from significant adversity.