2020 Team Analysis and Schedule
The Carolina Panthers joined the league in 1995 and are members of the NFC South Division. The Panthers have a pair of conference championships under their belts, but they are still looking for their first Super Bowl win.
Carolina has struggled a bit in recent years, and they are currently going through a rebuilding phase. Head coach Matt Rhule will be in his first season with the team in 2020 after a successful coaching stint at Baylor.
The 2020 season will mark some changes for the Panthers, and it is expected to be a rough season. Besides the NFC South schedule, the Panthers will play each team from the NFC North and AFC West divisions, along with the Arizona Cardinals and Washington Redskins.
Panthers 2020 Schedule
|Week 1||Sept. 13||Las Vegas Raiders|
|Week 2||Sept. 20||at Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|Week 3||Sept. 27||at Los Angeles Chargers|
|Week 4||Oct. 4||Arizona Cardinals|
|Week 5||Oct. 11||at Atlanta Falcons|
|Week 6||Oct. 18||Chicago Bears|
|Week 7||Oct. 25||at New Orleans Saints|
|Week 8||Oct. 29||Atlanta Falcons|
|Week 9||Nov. 8||at Kansas City Chiefs|
|Week 10||Nov. 15||Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|Week 11||Nov. 22||Detroit Lions|
|Week 12||Nov. 29||at Minnesota Vikings|
|Week 13||Dec. 6||Bye week|
|Week 14||Dec. 13||Denver Broncos|
|Week 15||Dec. 20||at Green Bay Packers|
|Week 16||Dec. 27||at Washington Football Team|
|Week 17||Jan. 3||New Orleans Saints|
Carolina Panthers News & Picks
Last Year’s History
The 2019 season was the ninth and final season played under head coach Ron Rivera. The team ended up with a 5-11 record to finish in fourth place in the NFC South Division.
Things actually started well for the Panthers a season ago as they grabbed five regular season wins out of their first eight games. But Carolina didn’t win a game the rest of the season, ending the campaign on an eight-game losing streak.
The 2019 season also saw the end of an era for two of the biggest stars on the team. Quarterback Cam Newton suffered a season-ending injury in Week 2 of the season and has since moved on to the New England Patriots.
Linebacker Luke Keuchly retired at the end of the 2019 campaign due to the numerous concussions that have plagued him throughout his career. The Panthers enter 2020 with plenty of question marks, and experts predict another rough season in Carolina.
Carolina Panthers Key players
Christian McCaffrey, at +3600 to win the 2020 NFL MVP award, is one of the best offensive players in the NFL, and the Panthers have the ball in his hands a ton. McCaffrey was an All-Pro a season ago after racking up more than 2,400 offensive yards.
The running back has 1,387 rushing yards and also racked up 15 rushing touchdowns. McCaffrey also had 1,005 receiving yards and four touchdown receptions.
Look for quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to form a connection with McCaffrey right away.
Bridgewater comes to the Panthers after spending the last two seasons with the New Orleans Saints. Bridgewater was a backup quarterback in New Orleans, but he proved he was still a great quarterback a season ago, winning all five of the games he started while Drew Brees was injured.
The former Vikings quarterback threw nine touchdowns to just two interceptions a season ago, while completing almost 68 percent of his passes. Bridgewater has dealt with some injuries throughout his career, but the Panthers are looking to him to transform their offense.
Derrick Brown was selected by the Panthers with the seventh overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Brown will be called upon to lead the Panthers on defense, which is never an easy task for a rookie.
Brown was a consensus first-team All-American last season while playing at Auburn, and he put up some monster stats. The defensive tackle had 170 tackles, including 33.5 tackles for a loss, in his senior season.
Carolina Panthers New Additions
Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was signed to replace Cam Newton, and he will take over the starting job in Week 1. Bridgewater has been backing up Drew Brees in New Orleans, but he has starting experience.
The Panthers also brought in a pair of wide receivers in Pharoh Cooper and Robby Anderson. CB Eli Apple and DE Stephen Weatherly should improve the defense.
In the 2020 NFL Draft, the Panthers spent all seven of their picks on the defensive side of the ball. DT Derrick Brown and DE Yetur Gross-Matos have a chance to make an impact in their rookie seasons.
Carolina Panthers Key Subtractions
The Panthers have gone through a complete turnover of the roster, and several important pieces have moved on. Carolina has attempted to replace some of these players, but it will likely take a few years before the process is complete.
Quarterback Cam Newton and linebacker Luke Keuchly are both huge losses, and they were also two of the biggest fan favorites. WR Chris Hogan and TE Greg Olsen have also moved on, and that will impact the offense.
On defense, the Panthers will be without many starters from a year ago. Defensive ends Bruce Irvin and Mario Addison combined for 16 sacks last season, and they have both signed with new teams.
The Carolina Panthers finished in fourth place in the NFC South a season ago, and it’s hard to see them improving upon that in 2020. In fact, in the BetUS sportsbook, the Panthers are heavy (-300) favorites to come in last in the NFC South once again. The rest of the division is expected to improve this season, and the Panthers are going through a rebuilding phase.
The New Orleans Saints are the reigning champs, and they should be just as good in 2020. The Atlanta Falcons finished in second place in 2019, and they are going to be better this season.
The real change in the division will be the emergence of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Tampa Bay should take a huge step forward this season with the signing of Tom Brady and the acquisition of tight end Rob Gronkowski.
Christian McCaffrey, and then other guys – right? No more Cam Newton. No more Riverboat Ron to call the offense. This will be an interesting season for the Panthers. McCaffrey is no doubt one of the most talented players in the game. Last season, he finished with more than 2,300 yards via the ground and the air.
McCaffrey was second on the team to D.J. Moore in receiving yards. Moore is a talented player that averaged 13.5 yards per reception. Moore and McCaffrey tied with six touchdowns via the passing game.
Finally, quarterback Teddy Bridgewater will need to take over the leadership of this team after coming over from New Orleans. Bridgewater looked good when he was on the field for the Saints a season ago.
The Carolina Panthers were not a good defensive team in 2019, and they lost several key performers from that side of the ball. Even though Carolina focused on defense in the 2020 NFL Draft, this could be a huge area of concern this season.
Carolina gave up 29.4 points per game during the 2019 season, and that has to change if the team is going to compete this season. Stopping the run was a big problem for the Panthers a season ago, as they allowed more than 143 yards per game.
The Panthers do have some talent on that side of the ball, but some of the talents are very young. Carolina must be a better defensive team in 2020, but that might be a challenge.
Carolina Panthers FAQs
What is the Carolina Panthers' all-time record?
Who owns the Carolina Panthers?
How many Super Bowls have the Carolina Panthers won?
Zero (Two Appearances – 2015, 2003
What division are the Carolina Panthers in?