4 critical factors that will determine successful Carolina Panthers season in 2023

Brian Burns
Brian Burns / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
3 of 5

Carolina Panthers defense must create more turnovers

The general consensus is that Carolina Panthers' defense carried the offense in 2022. The unit was a massive part of the team tallying seven wins and almost winning the NFC South following a dismal start.

Carolina's defense would get tired in some games from the lack of rest in between series’ due to the offense having quick three-and-outs. If the passing game was more effective, there’s no telling how many games the Panthers would’ve won.

One thing that the defense could have improved in 2022 was creating more turnovers. The Panthers should have more takeaways due to the coaching and scheme of defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero this time around. The team is switching to a 3-4 base which caters more to some of the best players at their disposal. 

Carolina has made several moves on the defensive side of the ball during free agency and the draft to drive the takeaway production up. One player that should be key in creating turnovers is veteran safety Vonn Bell.

Bell was a captain for the Cincinnati Bengals and produced 77 tackles, one sack, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, eight pass deflections, and four interceptions last season. If he can replicate these numbers in Carolina,  there’s a chance that the defense could become one of the league's best.

Another new addition that could create some turnovers for the defense is newly acquired edge rusher Justin Houston. The veteran won't play every down at 34 years old, but he will have an impact on the passing downs with a vicious repertoire to call upon.

While playing for the Baltimore Ravens in 14 games last season, Houston racked up 9.5 sacks with a forced fumble and an interception. The potential sack production with Brian Burns on the opposite edge could create major problems for opposing offensive lines. 

These new players, those already around, and Evero’s scheme could be a recipe for success in 2023.