The Panthers lost the season finale to the Buccaneers 41-17 (a game that I personally can’t forget soon enough) and ended the year on a 7-game losing streak where four of those seven losses were by at least 17 points. The Panthers have gone 10-23 over the last two years, have one of the worst offensive lines in the league, have a huge uncertainty at quarterback and don’t have the draft capital necessary to rebuild the roster this offseason with good, young and cheap talent.
I’m not trying to be a downer here, but facts are facts: The Panthers are not a good football team right now. I don’t know when (or if) they’ll be one again, but it’s hard to argue that they’re not one of the worst teams in the league based on the situation we currently have in the organization. Despite that, fans are still somewhat confident the team can turn things around. Our Reacts survey users have hovered around 10 percent confidence over the last month or so, but in our latest survey the number of fans who voted yes to the question “Do you believe the Panthers are headed in the right direction?” jumped up to 32 percent.
Fan confidence hasn’t been that high since around Week 10, right before the wheels feel completely off the wagon and the team started its 7-game losing streak to end with a second straight 5-win campaign. I have to be honest here: I don’t know why it’s that high. Again, I’m not trying to be a downer, but I haven’t seen anything from this organization that makes me think they know what they’re doing. Kudos to those who voted yes and believe the team will turn things around, because you have much more faith than I do right now. I’m in “I’ll believe it when I see it” mode for the moment, but that does have the potential to change with a solid draft and free agent class.
The big question going forward is where do we go from here? The Panthers have huge needs at almost every position on the offensive line. Whether that be starters or depth, the only position that’s somewhat sorted is right tackle, and that’s only as long as Taylor Moton remains healthy. The Panthers need a quarterback unless they plan on rolling with Sam Darnold and P.J. Walker again next year, and to be honest I don’t think we need to see that again. The Panthers have several key contributors ready to hit free agency, and if we’re unable to retain them it just creates more holes that need to be filled.
On the bright side, the Panthers will have a decent amount of salary cap space and the No. 6 overall pick in the draft, but they don’t have another pick until the fourth round unless general manager Scott Fitterer makes a few trades to collect more assets. Are $20-ish million in cap space and a top ten draft pick enough to turn things around? Perhaps, but there’s too many unknowns for me to be confident right now.
What do you think, Panthers fans? Do you have any confidence the Panthers can turn things around? Why or why not? Share your thoughts with us!
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