With the NFL’s off-season officially coming to a close, each NFL team’s rookies have begun reporting for training camp. With that in mind, analysts and fans alike have begun to take a close look at their club’s upcoming schedule. We here at Last Word on Pro Football have decided to continue that trend and break down each team’s easiest and most difficult games of the upcoming season. For this article, we will be taking a look at the Carolina Panthers easiest games of 2020. So, without further ado, let’s jump right into it!
Carolina Panthers Easiest Games in 2020
9. Week 6: vs Chicago Bears
One of the most concerning positions for the Carolina Panthers over the last few seasons has been their offensive line, and their Week 6 match-up versus the Chicago Bears should test this year’s unit. The Bears have become known for their incredible defensive units, which feature stars like Khalil Mack and Eddie Jackson. If the Panthers plan on winning on the offensive side of the football, they will need to find a way to neutralize Mack and the Bears’ defensive line. While that may be a tough task for the 2020 Panthers, they shouldn’t struggle too much with the Bears offense.
That side of the football has been left in shambles over the last few seasons, as former first-round pick Mitchell Trubisky has struggled to lead the team’s offensive unit to success over his first several seasons. While the Bears receiving corps is solid, it’s not set in stone who will be tossing them the football. With quarterback Nick Foles being added to the mix this off-season, it seems unclear who’ll be first on the depth chart. With that being said, the Panthers should be able to stifle an offensive showing by a Bears team who’ll still potentially be adjusting to a new signal-caller early in the season.
If the Panthers are able to slow down a rock-solid Bears defense, then they have a good chance to win this ball game. For that reason, this particular match-up was placed on this list.
10. Week 14: vs Denver Broncos
After an off-season full of exciting deals and promising draft picks, optimism is at an all-time high in the Mile High City. Denver’s recent moves seem to display that they are looking to win now, but the team still has a ways to go. With that being said, the Panthers should be able to take the fight to the Broncos when they go head-to-head in Charlotte.
While the Broncos feature an impressive offense and solid defense, they still have several holes on the roster. The Panthers will no doubt be looking to exploit these weaknesses at every available moment. While the Panthers’ defense may be young, the squad should be able to shut down quarterback Drew Lock, who took over the starting role for the team last season. The Panthers’ offense should be able to have their way with a Broncos defense that is still looking to fill a few holes. While this game is in no way an easy one for the Panthers, it shouldn’t be a tough one for them either. For that reason, this match-up found it’s way onto our list.
11. Week 5: at Atlanta Falcons
The Carolina Panthers Week 5 match-up sees the team go head-to-head with another familiar face. Since their run to the Super Bowl several seasons ago, the Falcons have been in a sort of rebuilding mode. While they still have their star receiving corps, which features names like Julio Jones, the team largely still has lots of holes to fill. With that being said, the Panthers should be able to take care of business during this match-up with the Falcons.
The Falcons‘ defense is their number one problem, which means that the Panthers’ offense should be able to put plenty of points on the board. If the Panthers’ young defensive core can neutralize Jones even just a little bit, they should be able to win this ball game, despite being on the road.
12. Week 8: vs Atlanta Falcons
Yep, we’re back on the Falcons again, but this time it’s Week 8. As we mentioned before, the Panthers shouldn’t struggle too much with the Falcons in this game, seeing as how their defense has been labeled a lackluster unit. If the Panthers can shut down the Falcons’ offensive unit, then the team should be able to win this game fairly easily. With the added boost of having home-field advantage, the Panthers should play well in this game and grab a division win versus one of their rivals.
13. Week 3: at Los Angeles Chargers
Coming in at number 13 on our list, we have the Panthers’ Week 3 match-up versus the Los Angeles Chargers. After losing long-time starting quarterback Philip Rivers this off-season, the Chargers decided to use a first-round draft pick on Justin Herbert, who looks to be the team’s future at the position. With a competent backup in Tyrod Taylor sitting behind him, it’s still unclear as to whom will be first on the depth chart come Week 1.
With a vicious quarterback battle brewing for the Chargers, the Panthers should and will use this time to strike. With this particular match-up coming just three weeks into the season, the Chargers will still more than likely be working in a new offense around a new starting signal-caller. This should allow a young Panthers defense to feast on rookie mistakes.
While the Chargers are looking like a force to be reckoned with, the meshing of a new team coupled with the fact that a rookie quarterback will likely be at the helm could prove to be too much for the team early in the season. The Panthers should jump at the opportunity to snatch a win early against a formidable opponent.
14. Week 11: vs Detroit Lions
The Detroit Lions seem to be stuck in a vicious cycle of rebuilding. While they still have Matthew Stafford at the helm, the team seems a bit all over the place. There’s plenty of holes in the roster and the Panthers should have no problem shutting the Lions down. If the Panthers offense can get off to a hot start in this one, then the defense should be able to keep the Lions’ offensive attack at bay for the most part. After studying this match-up closely, we look for the Panthers to pull away early and take care of business in this game.
15. Week 16: at Washington Football Team
As we talked about previously, one of the Panthers’ main concerns over the years has been their offensive line. In their Week 16 match-up versus Washington, the Carolina Panthers will get to put their unit to the test, as they match-up with one of the best defensive lines in football. Led by number one overall pick Chase Young, Washington’s defense should be a tight unit.
Their offense on the other hand could use some work. With starting quarterback Dwayne Haskins running the ship, Ron Rivera should be able to muster something out of the team’s lackluster offense. With Washington’s top wide receiver out for an extended amount of time, the Panthers should look to exploit the large number of holes found in Washington’s roster.
If the Panthers can score early, this game will likely be a blowout, assuming the young Panthers defense can hold their own against Haskins’ offensive unit.
16. Week 1: vs Las Vegas Raiders
And we finish off our list today with the Panthers’ Week 1 match-up versus the Las Vegas Raiders. After signing former Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota earlier in the off-season, speculation has been surrounding the Raiders’ quarterback battle. Assuming that long-time starter Derek Carr wins the job, business as usual will occur for the Raiders’ decent offensive unit. But the Raiders’ real problem is their defense.
The Raiders’ defense lacks an identity and shouldn’t pose too much of a threat to Carolina’s offensive unit. The Panthers should be able to stifle any kind of offensive push by the Raiders, who simply don’t have enough firepower to out-duel the Panthers. The Panthers’ offensive unit should also put on a show against the Raiders’ weak defense, which should lead to a win for the team. If the Carolina Panthers can score early and often, this one can definitely be tallied down as a blow-out.