Will everything finally come together for the Carolina Panthers in Week 12?

It would be a refreshing change of pace...
Bryce Young and Miles Sanders
Bryce Young and Miles Sanders / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Could the Carolina Panthers finally put everything together in pursuit of victory at the Tennessee Titans in Week 12?

One could forgive Carolina Panthers fans for being less than enthused about the prospect of having to sit through another regular season game. It's been a complete disaster up to now, which is leading to speculation about the futures of Frank Reich and general manager Scott Fitterer unless there's some dramatic change of fortunes over their remaining seven contests.

Multiple key injuries, an offensive line that isn't up to the required standard, and confidence hitting an all-time low have become prevalent during another campaign of vast underachievement. Something that could lead the Panthers to endure the embarrassment of handing over the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft to the Chicago Bears as part of their trade to land quarterback Bryce Young.

Carolina Panthers have a chance in Week 12 at the Titans

Most fans are beyond the point of caring with no genuine hope for encouragement. However, Sunday's game at the Tennessee Titans seems like a decent opportunity to pick up some much-needed morale.

The Titans are going through their own complications this season. They are the only team residing in the AFC South below .500 and after veteran quarterback Ryan Tannehill once again flattered to deceive, Mike Vrabel named second-round selection Will Levis as their confirmed starter.

This is something the Panthers' defense could take advantage of. Stopping running back Derrick Henry is their primary objective, but putting Levis in uncomfortable situations might lead to turnover opportunities if the front seven rises to the challenge.

Levis has a chip on his shoulder after the Panthers - and every other team around the league - passed on him in the first round. But his inexperience coupled with suspect decision-making under pressure means Carolina's defensive unit won't get a better opportunity to have their long-awaited statement game this season.

In truth, Ejiro Evero's unit is far down the list of problems where the Panthers are concerned. Offensively, it remains a complete embarrassment with no protection or enough skilled pass-catchers for Young to do damage.

Nobody is saying Young shouldn't be playing better. He should and is the first to admit that himself. But that doesn't detract from everything around the former Alabama star needing to improve in the short and long term.

This is a glass-half-full mindset. The Titans are giving up 230.8 passing yards and 112.3 rushing yards per game, so there are areas to exploit for Young providing the offensive line lives up to their end of the bargain.

It's also worth remembering that Young's best performance and only win of the season arrived versus another first-year quarterback in C.J. Stroud. The Heisman Trophy winner wouldn't admit it publicly, but there must be some added motivation versus those who emanated from the same draft class - something that could lead to another polished performance this afternoon.

Having too much faith in the current Panthers operation would be foolish. And in all honesty, they haven't earned anything but skepticism from their efforts so far in 2023.

They do have a chance. It might be a slim one, but this might be the game where Carolina puts everything together in the face of adversity, matching the Titans' physicality and coming through in key moments with more efficiency than at any stage during the campaign to date.

There is also a chance this could go horribly wrong and blow up in the Panthers' face. That's what makes them a fascinating watch for good or bad.