Predicting the Carolina Panthers next four games after 1-9 start in 2023

Could things be looking up?

Bryce Young
Bryce Young / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
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Carolina Panthers at Buccaneers - Week 13

For some reason, the NFL flexed this game to the late afternoon slate in their infinite wisdom. This provides more exposure for quarterback Baker Mayfield's revenge game as the Carolina Panthers travel to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 13.

Mayfield was the last roll of previous head coach Matt Rhule's dice when it came to finally solving Carolina's complex quarterback riddle. But thanks to the environment and needless quarterback battle with Sam Darnold during camp, it was never going to reap significant rewards.

The former No. 1 overall selection was waived when Steve Wilks took charge after an underwhelming stint under center. After flashing for the Los Angeles Rams over the second half of 2022, Mayfield signed for the Buccaneers and has been performing relatively well despite the team's struggles overall.

Mayfield's improved production is another damning indictment of how the Panthers went about their business under the previous coaching regime. Things aren't much better with Frank Reich and Thomas Brown leading the offense, but they won't want the former Oklahoma phenom getting one over on his previous employers.

Prediction: Win (2-10)

Previous form normally goes out of the window during divisional games. If the Panthers can protect rookie signal-caller Bryce Young and take advantage of one of the league's worst pass defenses, they can attain a morale-boosting win on the road.