2021 Season Preview: After a rebuilding season in 2020, the Panthers hope to take a big step forward in 2021. They will do so with a new quarterback, talented Sam Darnold, and Christian McCaffrey, who is unstoppable when healthy. The Carolina defense looks like it is improving quickly, thanks to young stars Jeremy Chinn and Brian Burns. If the D can limit opponents to a couple of touchdowns a game, Darnold & Co. may be ready to produce a winning season.
2020 Season Roundup: A three-game winning streak early in the season had Carolina fans dreaming about the playoffs, but the Panthers only won two more games in 2020. An injury to Christian McCaffrey put too much pressure on quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and his teammates to score points, and on the defense to keep opponents from scoring. The Panther D actually wasn’t bad—Brian Burns made the move from linebacker to defensive end and led the team with 9 sacks and the team played tough in narrow losses to the Chiefs, Saints, and Vikings. On offense, newcomer Robbie Anderson had a breakout year with 95 catches, and receivers Curtis Samuel and DJ Moore had solid seasons, too.
2020 Season Preview: Cam Newton is in New England and Luke Keuchly has retired, so the Panthers definitely have a new look in 2020. The team’s offense will be powered by do-it-all Christian McCaffrey, while Teddy Bridgewater fills Newton’s shoes at quarterback. DJ Moore and newcomer Robby Anderson give Bridgewater a pair of quality targets at wide receiver. The job for the defense will be to give McCaffrey & Co. as much time with the ball as possible. That could be a tall order—there is talent on the defensive line but many holes behind it.
2019 Season Roundup: A foot injury sidelined Cam Newton early in the year and the Panthers began losing close games they normally might have won. The result was a 5–11 record despite an amazing season from Christian McCaffrey, who rushed for 1,387 yards and caught 116 passes. The Carolina pass rush was good early on, but could not keep up the pressure on enemy quarterbacks in November and December.
December 29, 2019: Christian McCaffrey became the third player in history with 1,000 yards running and receiving. He finished the year with 1,387 yards on the ground and 1,005 through the air.
2019 Season Preview: Cam Newton was headed for a career year before a shoulder injury ruined the second half of his season. Running back Christian McCaffrey and rookie receiver DJ Moore picked up some of the slack, but the Panthers need a healthy quarterback to return to the Super Bowl. Tackle machine Luke Keuchly leads the defense once again.
2018 Season Roundup: Carolina could easily have won a dozen games in 2018. They started 6–2, but lost five close games in the second half. Quarterback Cam Newton had a solid year and Christian McCaffrey ran for over 1,000 yards in his second NFL season. Luke Keuchly was the star of the defense again.
November 25, 2018: Christian McCaffrey ran for 125 yards and caught 11 passes for 112 yards. He became the first player in team history to top 100 rushing and receiving yards in the same game.
2018 Season Preview: Can Carolina match its 11-win 2017 campaign? The talent is there with quarterback Cam Newton and a sure-handed group of receivers and running backs. And new coach Norv Turner is capable of taking this group to the next level. Luke Kuechly leads a defense that’s excellent against the run but needs to improve against the pass.
2017 Season Roundup: After starting the year 4–3, Carolina won seven of its next 8 games to make the playoffs. Cam Newton led the team in passing and also rushing, while linebackers Thomas Davis and Luke Kuechly led the defense. The Panthers lost a close game to the Saints in the opening round of the playoffs.
2017 Season Preview: Carolina is better than its 6–10 record from 2016, but how much better? If Cam Newton is allowed to do what he does best—create havoc with size, speed and throwing arm—then the Panthers should have a winning record. If the pass rush gets the job done, then the Carolina defense should be good.
2016 Season Roundup: Carolina’s trip to the Super Bowl in 2015 was a surprise to many. Their fall to a 6–10 record in 2016 was one of the most shocking stories in football. They dropped five of their first six games and never recovered. Star linebacker Luke Kuechly could not rally the team’s defense, which struggled all season. The offense, meanwhile, was only so-so. Cam Newton threw for 19 touchdowns and ran for five more, but he also threw 14 interceptions. Tight End Greg Olsen was the team’s best player, with his third straight 1,000-yard season.
2016 Season Preview: After falling just short of a championship, the Panthers roar into 2016 looking to wi the Super Bowl. They have the talent to do so, starting with quarterback Cam Newton and linebacker Luke Keuchly. Their only big loss was defensive back Josh Norman. If one of the three college stars Carolina drafted can fill Norman’s shoes, the Panthers should be in great shape.
December 13, 2015: Cam Newton joined Andy Dalton and Peyton Manning as the only players to pass for more than 3,000 yards in each of their first five 5 seasons. One week later, he became the first player with 100 rushing yards, 300 passing yards, and 5 TD passes in a game.
2015 Season Preview: Carolina fans will be counting on Cam Newton to lead them to the playoffs, but it’s the team’s defense that will actually be the key. It looks to be the best in the division, with linebacker Luke Kuechly leading the way.
September 1, 2014: After making the playoffs in 2013, the Panthers will have their work cut out for them if they want to return to the postseason. A number of players—including superstar Stave Smith—either retired or left as free agents in 2014. Smith’s replacement is rookie Kelvin Benjamin. If he and QB Cam Newton get on the same page, Carolina could challenge the Saints in the NFC Sout
September 4, 2013: The Panthers are a very young team led by Cam Newton on offense and Luke Kuechly on defense. They won seven games but could have won many more with some veteran leadership. Carolina let too many opportunities slip away in the fourth quarter in 2012. Center Ryan Kalil missed most of the year in 2012. He is back in 2013, and the Panthers should be better for it.
February 2, 2013: Linebacker Luke Kuechly was named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. Kuechly led the entire league with 164 tackles in his first season. After a slow start, the team won 5 of its last 6 games to finish 7–