With training camp underway and the preseason fast approaching, Last Word on Pro Football is analyzing the schedules of all 32 NFL teams. Each teams schedule will be split into most difficult (1-8) and easiest (9-17) games. Let’s continue the series by taking a look at the easiest games on the Carolina Panthers schedule.
Easiest Games on the Carolina Panthers 2022 Schedule
9. Week 1 vs Browns
This ranking assumes that Deshaun Watson will suit up to start the season. Watson is clearly better than Jacoby Brissett (Baker Mayfield will never play for the Browns again), but it’s fair to assume that Cleveland’s new quarterback will battle some rust during his first game action in over a year. Additionally, he won’t have too much time to develop a rapport with his new teammates, so Cleveland’s offense could look a little ugly out of the gate. Perhaps the Panthers can surprise everyone and start their season off with a win.
10. Week 16 vs Lions
The Detroit Lions are going to be a lot better in 2022 than they were last year. While their record was terrible, they had five one-score losses and added tons of talent in free agency and the NFL Draft. With Dan Campbell heading into his second year as head coach, this team should take a huge leap and could compete for a Wild Card spot. This team should have something to play for, and superstar rookie Jameson Williams should be completely healthy by the time the Panthers have to face off against Detroit.
11. Week 18 @ Saints
For the time being, we’re going to assume that Drew Brees was joking about coming back. Truthfully, at this point in time, Jameis Winston is probably the better quarterback anyway. The New Orleans Saints have a very top-heavy roster, but not much in terms of depth. If the team gets lucky with injuries, they could compete for a spot in the postseason. However, if one of their key players goes down, they don’t have anyone set to replace them.
12. Week 3 vs Saints
Home-field advantage can be overrated in the NFL, but it does make the Week 3 matchup against New Orleans a little bit easier than the Week 18 showdown.
13. Week 15 vs Steelers
It is hard to be good in the NFL without a good quarterback, and the Pittsburgh Steelers have one of the worst quarterback rooms in football. Mitchell Trubisky is not the answer, and Kenny Pickett was my QB5 heading into the NFL Draft. The team somehow snuck into the postseason with the ghost of Ben Roethlisberger last year, but it’s hard for situations like that to duplicate themselves in consecutive seasons.
14. Week 2 @ Giants
Daniel Jones will have at least one more season with the New York Giants, and that’s good news for the Panthers. While the Giants have not made life easy on Jones, the quarterback simply does not look the part of an NFL starter. Panthers fans should know better than anyone that scapegoating poor quarterback play on a supporting cast doesn’t always work out. First-year head coach Brian Daboll is a massive upgrade on Joe Judge, but Jones’ underwhelming play combined with a weak defense and pedestrian supporting cast makes this a favorable matchup for Carolina.
15. Week 8 @ Falcons
Things are not looking good for the Atlanta Falcons. After trading away Matt Ryan and losing Julio Jones, Atlanta’s entire offense will run through Kyle Pitts. Perhaps Marcus Mariota can recapture his early form in a new environment, but even if he does, this team is completely void of talent.
16. Week 14 @ Seattle
Seattle can’t possibly go into the season with Drew Lock under center, can they? Well, after passing on a passer in the NFL Draft, that’s exactly what they appear poised to do. Seattle is entering a full-on rebuild, and they lack the quarterback to compete and the supporting cast to overcome Lock’s shortcomings. The defense is a disaster, Drew Lock is terrible, and Pete Carroll is going to try to win games by running the ball in a pass-happy era. If Seattle ends up with the first-overall pick, nobody should be too surprised.
17. Week 10 vs Falcons
Anything can happen with divisional games, and that’s especially true on short weeks. This game will take place on Thursday Night Football, so perhaps the Falcons can pull off a win thanks to the inherent unpredictability of short weeks.
Embed from Getty Images