How could the Carolina Panthers fare over their next four games with players coming back after their period of bye week rest?
Bye weeks are great for players and fans alike. It's almost easy to forget how bad the Carolina Panthers were over their first six games - so it couldn't have come at a better time for everyone associated with the franchise.
Talk of removing some established stars from the roster via trade before the deadline remains evident across the regional and national media. Nothing concrete has emerged, and Frank Reich's sights are firmly set on finally building some much-needed momentum following a torrid 0-6 opening to the campaign.
The Panthers made one notable public alteration during the bye after Reich handed over play-calling duties to offensive coordinator Thomas Brown. Expecting a completely new offense is a pipe dream, but this could improve execution and modernize concepts that looked devoid of inspiration more often than not.
It'll be interesting to see things unfold and what adjustments have been made. Looking ahead, we took a look at how the Panthers might fare over their next four fixtures after a winless period before the bye.
Carolina Panthers vs. Texans - Week 8
This is being touted as a battle between Bryce Young and C.J. Stroud - the two quarterback prospects taken atop the 2023 NFL Draft. But it's also an important game for the Carolina Panthers in the hope of finally kick-starting their season at long last.
Austin Corbett looks like he could feature, which is a major bonus. Xavier Woods and Miles Sanders are also back practicing, so bodies are getting healthy after the bye following some torrid injury luck lately.
Couple this with offensive coordinator Thomas Brown calling plays and being at home, this looks like a game Carolina could win. Although one cannot ignore the impressive start made by the Houston Texans under head coach DeMeco Ryans.
Prediction: Win (1-6)
Those within the locker room should be pulling hard to ensure Young gets one over on Stroud. So this might be the weekend for the Panthers to break their duck.