Predicting the Carolina Panthers next four games after 0-5 start in 2023

Things aren't great right now, but there is hope...
Bryce Young
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Carolina Panthers vs. Texans - Week 8

There should be plenty of self-reflection and rethinking of various team-related strategies if the Carolina Panthers find themselves at 0-6 on their bye week. What awaits Frank Reich's men when they return to action at Bank of America Stadium in Week 8 is the man many believe should have been the pick at No.1 overall in the 2023 NFL Draft.

C.J. Stroud has taken the league by storm en route to some borderline historic numbers through five weeks. While there's nothing to suggest Bryce Young wasn't the right selection given his gradual growth, the Panthers cannot afford to get beaten against a resurgent Houston Texans outfit under DeMeco Ryans.

Houston might be sitting at 2-3, but they've been in almost every game. Their defense is coming on encouragingly thanks to Ryans and in Stroud, they have a signal-caller capable of coming through in clutch situations within a scheme that's playing to his strengths.

Young doesn't have that luxury - for now, anyway. But the bye week would be the best possible time to make schematic alterations that bring the best out of their prized possession's skill set.

If that means handing over the play-calling reins to offensive coordinator Thomas Brown, so be it.

Prediction: Win (1-6)

This will be tabbed as a battle between the top two picks in the draft. But after having extra time to prepare and the entire bye week to make improvements - coupled with the fact they're on home turf - the Panthers better win this game.

Otherwise, there's just no telling what the atmosphere will be like.