Predicting the final four games of Carolina Panthers 2023 season

Can the Carolina Panthers finish the 2023 season on a positive note?

Chris Tabor
Chris Tabor / Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
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Carolina Panthers vs. Buccaneers - Week 18

The Carolina Panthers' final contest of a cataclysmic season sees the Tampa Bay Buccaneers visit Bank of America Stadium on New Year's Eve. There will be no celebrating. Everyone associated with the franchise wants to see the back of 2023 as quickly as possible.

That said, playing the role of party pooper versus one of their NFC South rival is a carrot to dangle in pursuit of keeping players motivated. Baker Mayfield coming to his old stomping ground looking to sweep his former employers is something else to use.

Mayfield was failed by the Panthers. That much is obvious based on his encouraging performances this season. He wasn't alone in that regard, so the next hires in prominent positions must be correct to avoid this once-proud organization spiraling into permanent misery.

The Panthers were unable to beat the Buccaneers on the road even without Devin White and Lavonte David manning the defensive second level. It's hard to gauge which senior players will be involved in the season finale. But all signs point to everyone healthy behind out there unless there's a drastic alteration in the thought process.

Prediction: Win (3-14)

Again, this is the eternal optimist in me. I'm tentatively picking the Panthers to end their season with a win. But that might not be the case if Tampa Bay is still fighting to win the NFC South by this point.