2023 Carolina Panthers Predictions with Season Win Total Odds
I don’t know why I get so much joy out of watching billionaires fail.
Maybe it’s the chip on my shoulder that growing up in a poor, blue-collar family engendered. Maybe it is just because watching entitled elites slip on banana peels is the truest form of American comedy. Whatever it is, seeing David Tepper’s bungling attempts at making the Carolina Panthers relevant has been balm for the soul.
Tepper is proving once again that exorbitant wealth is as much a product of circumstance as it is any true skill. And his flailing missteps since taking over the Panthers is proof again that football is an untamable beast.
The Matt Rhule Experiment was a hilarious failure. Now Frank Reich, who was unceremoniously dumped by the Colts in midseason of last year, is here to pick up the pieces. And Tepper may have finally lucked his way into the guy that can get things going in Charlotte.
Doc’s Sports offers NFL expert picks for every game on our NFL predictions page.
CAROLINA PANTHERS 2023 OFFENSE
The Panthers are in the same boat as Houston and Indianapolis heading into this season. The big question for all three teams is, “Will they or won’t they” with regards to their rookie quarterback.
So, how will Reich play this? Will the erstwhile Colts head man take the long view and let rookie No. 1 overall pick Bryce Young sit and learn? Or will Young be thrown into the fire, sabotaging any chance the Panthers have of earning their first winning season since 2017?
Training camp will tell the tale. Andy Dalton is the veteran on the roster and Young’s primary competition. The 35-year-old Dalton has a winning record in his career as a starter despite being the poster boy for replacement-level quarterback play. He is undoubtedly the better option to open the season, even if the ceiling with this team is pretty low with Dalton under center.
Adam Thielen is hoping to revive his 10-year career after falling out of favor in Minnesota. Criminally underrated D.J. Chark was signed as well, and that duo headlines a receiving corps that can best be described as, “meh”.
Honestly, “meh” pretty much sums up the rest of the offense as well. The offensive line is just OK. Free agent signing Miles Sanders is just OK. Dalton is just OK.
The onus is going to be on Reich to scheme his way to points this season, because the talent level on this side of the ball is the worst in the division.
CAROLINA PANTHERS 2023 DEFENSE
I am intrigued by new Carolina defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero. Schooled by both Dom Capers and Vic Fangio, Evero fielded a Top 10 defense in Denver last season, his only year as a DC.
Evero is going to spearhead the conversion of Carolina from a base 4-3 to the 3-4. How the team adjusts to that new scheme will be one of the major storylines of the Panthers season.
Brian Burns and Shaq Thompson are an exceptional linebacker duo and part of a stacked back seven that is the clear strength of this Panthers squad.
Jeremy Chinn, Eric Rowe, and C.J. Henderson would be starters in most secondaries across the league. They all come off the bench in Carolina. Vonn Bell, Xavier Woods, Jaycee Horn, and Donte Jackson all have Pro Bowl CHOPS, and this has the potential to be one of the best pass defenses in the NFL.
Carolina desperately needs the new scheme and their talented secondary to do a better job of creating turnovers. Their 33 total takeaways the past two seasons is equal to the number of turnovers forced by last year’s No. 1 group of thieves, Dallas.
CAROLINA PANTHERS 2023 SCHEDULE
Week 1: 9/10 at Atlanta Falcons, 1 PM, FOX
Week 2: 9/18 vs. New Orleans Saints (Monday), 7:15 PM, ESPN
Week 3: 9/24 at Seattle Seahawks, 4 PM, CBS
Week 4: 10/1 vs. Minnesota Vikings, 1 PM, FOX
Week 5: 10/8 at Detroit Lions, 1 PM, FOX
Week 6: 10/15 at Miami Dolphins, 1 PM, CBS
Week 7: Bye Week
Week 8: 10/29 vs. Houston Texans, 1 PM, FOX
Week 9: 11/5 vs. Indianapolis Colts, 4 PM, CBS
Week 10: 11/9 at Chicago Bears (Thursday), 8:15 PM, Amazon
Week 11: 11/19 vs. Dallas Cowboys, 1 PM, FOX
Week 12: 11/26 at Tennessee Titans, 1 PM, FOX
Week 13: 12/3 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1 PM, CBS
Week 14: 12/10 at New Orleans Saints, 1 PM, FOX
Week 15: TBD vs. Atlanta Falcons, TBD, TBD
Week 16: 12/24 vs. Green Bay Packers, 1 PM, FOX
Week 17: 12/31 at Jacksonville Jaguars, 1 PM, CBS
Week 18: TBD vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, TBD, TBD
CAROLINA PANTHERS 2023 SEASON PICKS AND PREDICTIONS
I can’t properly assess Carolina’s prospects for this season until I know what they are doing at the quarterback position. Dalton stinks. We know this. But right now, he’s a better football player and will be a more productive NFL quarterback than Young.
Carolina desperately needs its veteran free agents – Dalton, Sanders, Chark, and Thielen – to absorb Reich’s offense and produce immediately.
If they can do that, then that will help take the early pressure off a defense that is undergoing a major scheme change.
The NFC South is wide open. So it is not beyond the realm to think that Carolina can compete among a group that sent a team with a losing record to the playoffs last year.
I do think that 7.5 wins is a bit optimistic for this group. Even with one of the easiest schedules in the NFL to work with.
Their offense has no chemistry or cohesion, with a new scheme and unfamiliar veterans. The defense is also making a major change and that could take some time. And if Carolina gets off to a slow start, I don’t trust them to resist the urge to hand the keys to Young prematurely.
I’ll call for a sixth straight losing season as Tepper’s failures continue.
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