A few VSiN NFL consultants agree that Sam Darnold and the Carolina Panthers will hit the Over on their 2021 regular-season win whole of seven.5.
Youmans: The Panthers may nonetheless be a 12 months away, however second-year coach Matt Rhule’s rebuild seems promising. Darnold’s improvement can be pivotal to this win whole. Arrange for failure with the Jets, Darnold is ready up for fulfillment in offensive coordinator Joe Brady’s inventive system that may spotlight a gifted group of playmakers.
Christian McCaffrey, the highest-paid working again within the league, returns from damage after his 2020 season lasted solely three video games. D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson are dynamic wideouts, with rookie Terrace Marshall, a second-round decide from LSU, rising because the No. 3 receiver.
Tight finish Tommy Tremble, a third-round decide from Notre Dame, was one other good addition. Darnold stays a query mark, after all, and the offensive line must develop as properly. Rebuilding shortly is what Rhule does greatest, and he has had two good lessons to enhance the protection and total depth on the roster.
A tender early schedule that strains up three of the NFL’s weakest groups within the first 5 weeks ought to assist launch the Panthers towards eight or 9 wins and a shock playoff look. Carolina opens by internet hosting the Jets and Saints. Search for a 3-2 or 4-1 begin after street video games in opposition to the Texans and Cowboys and a Week 5 residence recreation in opposition to the Eagles. New Orleans seems to be on the decline within the NFC South, and Atlanta is nothing particular. The Panthers are on the rise within the division.
Reynolds: Rhule has been a rebuilder in every single place he has been. In three seasons at Temple, he took the Owls from 2-10 to 6-6 to 10-4 earlier than departing for Baylor. In Waco, Rhule inherited a large number from Artwork Briles and took the Bears from 1-11 to 7-6 to 11-3. That historical past of enchancment ought to translate to Carolina in 2021.
The change of surroundings can solely do Darnold some good, and he has extra items round him in Charlotte. McCaffrey is the massive piece. Accidents restricted him to 3 video games in 2020, however he has set a number of NFL information in simply 4 years and has but to have a full season in Rhule’s system. Moore, Anderson (who performed for Rhule at Temple and had a profession season final 12 months) and Marshall kind a formidable receiving trio.
This additionally is likely to be the season when the rebuilding of the protection materializes via the draft and free company. Brian Burns and Derrick Brown have been excessive first-round picks on the defensive position. Haason Reddick, who additionally performed for Rhule at Temple, joins on a one-year deal after having a career-high 12.5 sacks.
Security Jeremy Chinn, a 2020 third-rounder, completed second in Defensive Rookie of the 12 months voting to Washington’s Chase Younger. Rookie first-rounder Jaycee Horn ought to begin instantly at nook. The Panthers open with 4 of six video games at residence and play solely six groups with profitable information.