4 crucial games the Carolina Panthers must win in 2024

These games may be circled by fans heading into the season.
Dave Canales
Dave Canales / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
1 of 3

We are well and truly into the depths of the offseason. Carolina Panthers fans and others around the league are eagerly filling their calendars with plans to watch their favorite team come September.  

Fans are eager to see an improvement on the abysmal showing from a year ago. The Panthers secured just two wins - both coming at home. This means those brave supporters who made the various road trips around the country weren't rewarded. But despite what we tell ourselves, it seems optimism is growing.  

New head coach Dave Canales has been a breath of fresh air this offseason. It’s nice to see the Panthers going back to basics when it comes to the development of quarterback Bryce Young. There’s been an emphasis on his footwork and getting the fundamentals right - something that seemed to be completely neglected during his rookie year.

For fans looking ahead to the 2024 season, there are some mouth-watering trips in the offing. For the first time in franchise history, the team will make the trip out to Las Vegas to take on the Raiders. Carolina also has an international trip on the cards as they head to Munich to take on the New York Giants.  

While all the talk has been positive this offseason, that has been the case with the Panthers for many years now. Until fans start to see change on the field, skepticism will remain.  

Let’s break down four must-win games for the Panthers in 2024.  

Carolina Panthers at Saints - Week 1

This is a must-win game for the Carolina Panthers for an abundance of reasons. The fact it’s Week 1 speaks for itself. After the horrid 0-6 start last season, Dave Canales will be looking to get a win early against a division rival.  

On a personal level for Bryce Young, this is a vital game to begin his sophomore season. It's fair to say his 2023 matchups against the New Orleans Saints were less than impressive. In a pair of defeats which included the home opener on Monday Night Football, the signal-caller struggled in both games, failing to top 155 passing yards in either contests and throwing just a solitary touchdown pass.  

Getting off to a good start under the Canales regime will be key to banishing the demons of 2023. Doing so versus an NFC South adversary is equally as important.  

The Saints - despite seemingly being in cap hell season after season - find ways to compete within the division. That is expected to continue in 2024. They are notorious for having top-level defenses and this will be the perfect opening-day test for the Panthers' revamped offense.