Reasons The Carolina Panthers Will NOT Make Playoffs
No. 1: Too Young
Time to be a Negative Nancy for the rest of the article. As promising as the roster looks on paper, development of young talent is not always linear. Sometimes it takes years for a player to become a needle-mover.
Bryce Young will suffer from some growing pains like all college quarterbacks do when adjusting to the NFL. However, the real concern comes with his offensive weaponry and the line tasked with protecting him.
Youth is a tough variable to predict. At some point, the word “potential” is just that — a word. To actually add wins to the column, these young players must reach their potential quickly. While possible, the lack of experience will likely result in turbulent play throughout the season.
No. 2: Lack Of Weapons On Offense
Adam Thielen signed on to be the No. 1 target in the passing game for Bryce Young, but the rest of the offensive weaponry leaves much to be desired. Even Thielen himself began showing signs of regression in 2022 with the Vikings.
Between the veterans rapidly advancing age and the inexperience of guys like Jonathan Mingo and Terrace Marshall, the offense could suffer lapses in production. Young can do a lot of the heavy lifting, but teams will begin to expose the Carolina scheme if it is unable to put pressure on defenses.
No. 3: Holes On Defense
As stated, Brian Burns, Jaycee Horn, Jeremy Chinn, and Derrick Brown are cornerstone pieces to the roster going forward. However, the rest of the group boasts well below-average players along the defense.
If Horn (or Chinn) suffers another season-ending injury, the secondary lacks the depth to make up for their absence. The same can be said about the front line, even though Burns and Brown have been relatively healthy in their short careers.
Defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero is the real deal, but it oftentimes takes a year or two before the scheme is fully implemented. The good news on this front is the versatility of these key players, as they can adapt easier to the new system by learning on the fly.
The Panthers are cooking with hot grease right now. The path toward relevancy is in sight. It just might take a little bit longer before the team reaches that next step. Either way, these are exciting times for the franchise. Hopefully, Reich and Young can be the duo to finally bring a Lombardi Trophy to Carolina.