Sorry for being a Debbie Downer, but the national media isn’t nearly as optimistic about the 2020 Carolina Panthers as many of us are as fans. In Cat Scratch Reader’s recent Fan Pulse most of the CSR community gave the Panther an “A” grade for their draft and over 90 percent think the team is headed in the right direction. Coming off a 5-11 season with atrocious quarterback play you’d think the Panthers might get a bump from “bad” to at least “semi competent.”
According to USA Today, NFL.com, and ESPN, you thought wrong.
USA Today’s For the Win ranks the Panthers No. 30 in the NFL ahead of only Washington and the Jacksonville Jaguars after factoring in the draft and current free agent signings. The author of the rankings, Stephen Ruiz, simply states of the Panthers “this is not a talented roster.”
NFL.com’s Dan Hanzus is similarly down on the post-draft 2020 Panthers. He ranks Carolina 29th but gives at least a glimmer of hope about the Panthers future by praising their draft and acknowledging “the Panthers have a lot of work to do — this offseason was just the start.”
In ESPN’s post-draft Power Rankings they have the Panthers at No. 27, putting them ahead of the ragtag collection of the Detroit Lions, New York Giants, Cincinnati Bengals, Washington, and the Jacksonville. That basically keeps the Panthers right where they were last season without making any year-over-year improvement. And this isn’t just the opinion of one ESPN blowhard. This is the collective ranking from a group of over 80 writers, editors, and TV personalities.
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying the Panthers are going to win double-digit games in 2020, but shouldn’t they get a little more respect by upgrading the quarterback positions from “Injured Cam”-Kyle Allen-Will Grier to a competent Teddy Bridgewater? What about replacing a conservative, predictable coaching staff with some new blood and innovative ideas? And, yes, the defense lost Luke Kuechly and a host of other starters from last year, but that particular unit was historically bad against the run. Can the 2020 defensive squad be much worse?
Maybe I’m too just too much of a homer, but I genuinely don’t see the Panthers among the worst three or four teams in the league. While it does take time to adapt to a new coaching staff and new schemes, the Panthers offense has the pieces in place to be at least capable. If the reworked offensive line can protect Teddy Bridgewater he’ll have solid weapons to find in Christian McCaffrey, DJ Moore, Robby Anderson, and Curtis Samuel. It’s not the Greatest Show on Turf, but it represents the most talent the Panthers have had at skill positions in several years.
We’ll have to see how the rest of the free agency plays out, but as of now I’m more bullish on the 2020 Panthers than the national media is. What do you think, Panthers fans?
What do you think of the national media ranking the 2020 Panthers among the worst teams in the league?
This poll is closed
It’s a little too low, but not much
It’s hogwash! Balderdash! Poppycock!