Carolina Panthers stay rock bottom in ESPN's power rankings
The Carolina Panthers have languished among the NFL's bottom feeders throughout David Tepper's disastrous reign as owner. Any hope fans had for legitimate improvements under recently departed head coach Frank Reich and quarterback Bryce Young this season fell by the wayside quickly, replaced by more abject misery and the potential embarrassment of handing the No. 1 overall selection to the Chicago Bears next spring.
ESPN placed the Panthers at rock bottom of their power rankings once again. This week's topic was pleasant surprises, which led beat writer David Newton to highlight the encouraging growth of running back Chuba Hubbard as a reason for optimism moving forward.
"[Chuba] Hubbard, a 2021 fourth-round pick, was expected to be a role player behind Miles Sanders, who signed a four-year, $25.4 million deal during the offseason. Hubbard has instead taken over as the Panthers' lead back and is coming off his best game (104 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries). He has relegated Sanders to being a role player."- David Newton, ESPN
Hubbard deserves enormous credit for the way he's developed when all hope seemed lost after his rookie campaign. The former Oklahoma State star is firmly cemented as the team's No. 1 running back - something that shouldn't alter when a new coaching regime comes into the fold if the same trend continues over Carolina's remaining five games.