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Carolina Panthers 2022 schedule prediction from The Observer


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Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule throughout observe on Wednesday, August 25, 2021.

jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

If you’re searching for the official 2022 NFL schedule — this isn’t it. The Observer may have immediate evaluation of the Panthers’ schedule after it’s introduced on Thursday.

Until then, It shall be enjoyable to foretell when Carolina will face their 2022 opponents.

The straightforward reply is, “at 1 p.m.”

Last season the Panthers performed one prime-time sport — a Thursday evening in Week 3, a 24-9 victory over the Houston Texans.

That victory marked a 3rd straight win for coach Matt Rhule and the Panthers. Sam Darnold notched a second-consecutive 300-yard sport and the protection allowed solely 30 factors via three video games.

But the nice instances didn’t final. Christian McCaffrey was harm in that sport. After that, he performed in 4 video games coping with a hamstring and ankle harm.

Carolina misplaced 12 of its subsequent 14 video games and didn’t play one other prime-time sport. NBC had no real interest in flexing Darnold or Cam Newton into Sunday evening.

Fans at Bank of America Stadium haven’t seen a house victory since Sept. 19.

But 2022 is a brand new season. Before the schedule drops on Thursday, here’s a take a look at the place I feel Panthers video games might land in 2022.

More than one prime-time sport?

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Carolina Panthers working again Christian McCaffrey (22) rushes for a achieve as Houston Texans cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III (26) defends in the course of the first half of an NFL soccer sport Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021, in Houston. Eric Christian Smith AP

Over the previous 5 seasons, the Panthers have performed in eight prime-time video games. Carolina hasn’t had a “Monday Night Football” sport since 2018, a 12-9 loss to New Orleans at Bank of America Stadium.

Five of their final eight prime-time contests are “Thursday Night Football” video games. Usually, Thursday evening video games don’t include the marquee of Sunday or Monday evening.

Which is why this season, the Panthers lastly should return to Monday evening.

vs. Browns (Monday evening)

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Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield, proper, drops again to move to a receiver throughout third quarter motion towards the Carolina Panthers at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio. The Panthers misplaced to the Cleveland Browns 26-20 on Sunday, December 9, 2018. Jeff Siner jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

Though talks have stalled and it appears unlikely, there may be nonetheless an opportunity Browns disgruntled quarterback Baker Mayfield leads to Carolina. If that occurs then the NFL could be foolish to not put Mayfield’s first sport towards his former group in a prime-time slot.

Mayfield wouldn’t be the one former Browns participant searching for some prime-time revenge. New Panthers receiver Rashard Higgins performed the previous six seasons in Cleveland. Guard Austin Corbett was drafted by the Browns at No. 33 in 2018 and performed 1 1/2 seasons there.

Plus, it might be Deshaun Watson’s first sport towards one of many three NFC South groups he turned down this offseason.

vs. 49ers (Monday evening)

This sport appears far much less more likely to occur however has comparable prime-time attraction as Browns-Panthers if Jimmy Garoppolo leads to Carolina.

at Bucs (Sunday evening)

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady stands within the pocket passing because the Carolina Panthers protection rushes throughout third quarter motion at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fl. on Sunday, January 9, 2022. The Panthers misplaced to the Buccaneers 41-17. Jeff Siner jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

The Bucs are going to have numerous prime-time video games once more this season. Last yr they have been below the lights 5 instances. Only the Chiefs (six) performed extra prime-time video games.

This sport appears unlikely as nicely, but when Carolina goes to get a prime-time sport towards a divisional rival, it’ll come at Tampa Bay.

Thanksgiving particular

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Carolina Panthers large receiver Robby Anderson (11) runs previous Detroit Lions security Jayron Kearse (42) after a reception within the second half at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, NC on Sunday, November 22, 2020. The Panthers gained, 20-0. David T. Foster III dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com

vs. Detroit (Thursday evening)

I’m kind of trolling the NFL with this choose. Two groups that picked within the high six of the draft are good for an early Thanksgiving sport.

Plus left sort out Ikem Ekwonu would go one-on-one with No. 2 choose Aidan Hutchinson. Like final yr’s Thursday evening sport, I feel this one would occur in September. Rookie Matt Corral is not going to be beginning but.

Thursday Night lights

There isn’t any rhyme or motive to how the league selects Thursday Night video games. These video games have a tendency to go away extra to be desired and are tough to clarify at first look.

vs. Steelers

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PITTSBURGH, PA – OCTOBER 03: Kenny Pickett #8 of the Pittsburgh Panthers makes an attempt to keep away from C.J. Clark #52 of the North Carolina State Wolfpack in the course of the second half at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, PA on October 3, 2020. (Photo by Michael Longo/Icon Sportswire) Michael Longo/Icon Sportswire Michael Longo/Icon Sportswire

Kenny Pickett takes on the coach who initially recruited him and the proprietor who shares his alma mater. Corral might be beginning by the point this sport happens.

Considering how Pickett was the one first- or second-round quarterback chosen, this sport could also be one of many few alternatives the NFL has to have two rookie quarterbacks face off.

Late afternoon marquees

Last season Carolina traveled to Arizona for a late kickoff and gained. It was Cam Newton’s “I’m back” sport. The NFL ought to attempt to duplicate that very same vitality minus Newton.

vs. Cardinals

A late begin for a West Coast group touring east is the development for these late afternoon video games.

Neither Kyler Murray nor DeAndre Hopkins performed towards the Panthers final season. Hopkins might miss the sport once more relying on when this sport lands. He was lately suspended for the primary six video games for violating the league’s performance-enhancing medicine coverage.

Carolina has the cornerback depth to deal with Hopkins however would profit from enjoying Arizona whereas he’s suspended.

vs. Broncos

Russell Wilson involves Carolina for a late sport. Panthers followers ought to hope this sport occurs in September. It’ll take a while for Wilson to completely grasp his new offense.

With some a lot familiarity returning to the Panthers’ protection, they need to have a bonus if this sport is performed earlier than Halloween.

at Seattle

It’s a protracted journey to the Pacific Northwest however fortunately for Carolina, there may be not a lot to worry up there. This is without doubt one of the few video games the Panthers must be favored in.

vs. Rams

Facing the defending Super Bowl champions may be a prime-time sport as nicely. But just like the Bucs, Los Angeles may have loads of Sunday and Monday evening video games.

A 4:05 p.m. ET kickoff makes numerous sense for this sport.

Early video games

vs. Atlanta, vs. New Orleans, and vs. Bucs, at Saints

As regular, nearly all of video games towards the NFC South may have commonplace 1 p.m. ET begins.

at Baltimore

This sport shall be electrical. There isn’t a extra enjoyable participant to look at than Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson. This sport will come all the way down to how defensive coordinator Phil Snow schemes methods to defend towards Jackson and Baltimore’s speeding assault.

at Bengals

The Panthers should have their secondary prepared for Joe Burrow, Jamar Chase and Tee Higgins. This could be a enjoyable sport to have in prime time however that appears unlikely.

at Giants

Losing consecutive early video games to the Giants must be unacceptable for Rhule, who misplaced to New York 26-3 final season at dwelling.

Hailing from Minnesota, Ellis L. Williams joined the Observer in October 2021 to cowl the Carolina Panthers. Prior, he spent two years reporting on the Browns for Cleveland.com/the Plain Dealer. Having escaped chilly winters, he’s thrilled to eat soccer, hoops, music and films inside the Queen City.





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