The Carolina Panthers have competed in two Super Bowls since 2003. However, much of the past decade has seen the franchise regress to the mean, as it has only made the playoffs one time since Cam Newton led the team to an NFC title in 2015.
The good news? After several failed experiments at quarterback and one of the worst coaching tenures ever under Matt Rhule, the franchise has seemingly found its way this offseason. Head coach Frank Reich signed on to lead the locker room into the future after serving the same position in Indianapolis for nearly five seasons.
Reich’s time with the Colts was marred by constant overturn at the quarterback position. He did not have a single quarterback start consecutive Week 1 games the entire time he spent in Naptown. Luckily the Panthers put the musical chairs behind center to rest at the 2023 NFL Draft, as general manager Scott Fitterer traded up to No. 1 overall.
With the top pick at this year’s draft, Carolina selected former Heisman Trophy winner, Bryce Young. The Alabama signal-caller is undersized, to put it mildly, but he checks every box talent-wise and as a leader. Combining Reich and Young’s professionalism lends immediate respect to the Panthers.
Panthers: 3 Reasons Carolina Can Win The NFC South In 2023 (And 3 Reasons It Can’t)
The roster still has a ways to go to be a true contender, but in a division as winnable as the NFC South, there are a few reasons why Carolina should be on the playoff radar. Here are three arguments in favor of the Panthers winning the division — and three arguments against their chances in 2023.