Carolina Panthers schedule and 2021 season predictions

Carolina Panthers schedule this week

Week 4 – @ Dallas Cowboys

DateTime (ET)TV
Sunday, Oct. 31:00 PMFOX
  • Point spread: Cowboys -5.5
  • Moneyline: TBD
  • Over/under: 50.5
  • Sportsnaut prediction: Cowboys 24, Panthers 20

Talk about a matchup between two extremes. Dallas’ offense has an ability to dominate on a consistent basis. Meanwhile, the Panthers’ defense has given up a total of 30 points during their 3-0 start to the season. Not having Christian McCaffrey due to his hamstring injury could set the Panther offense back. In what should be a close game, we’ll go with the home team.

Carolina Panthers schedule predictions, roster outlook

  • The Panthers beat the New York Jets 19-14 in Week 1 of the NFL season.
  • Their Week 13 bye is set between a road game against the Miami Dolphins and a home matchup versus the Atlanta Falcons (Nov. 28 and Dec. 12).
  • Sportsnaut predicts the Panthers will end the season with a 7-10 record.

Carolina Panthers roster outlook

Carolina Panthers schedule predictions, roster outlook
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

All our predictions are based on the Panthers keeping and starting these key players:

See where the Panthers fall in our latest NFL power rankings

Week 1 – Carolina Panthers won 19-14 vs. New York Jets

  • When: Sunday, Sept. 12 at 1:00 PM on CBS
  • Spread: Panthers -4
  • Moneyline: Jets +190; Panthers -235
  • Over/Under: 44.5
  • Sportsnaut Prediction: Jets 30, Panthers 20

Sam Darnold has to be pleased to win against his former team in his debut, he had such an advantage in terms of weapons and overall talent around him. However, he managed only three second-half points. Meanwhile, his Jets successor, Zach Wilson, gave Gang Green a chance to win in the end after a humbling start, despite running for his life all afternoon.

Week 2 – Carolina Panthers won 26-7 vs. New Orleans Saints

  • When: Sunday, Sept. 19 @ 1:00 PM on FOX
  • Spread: Saints -3.0
  • Moneyline: Panthers +160; Saints -195
  • Over/Under: 44.5
  • Week 2 prediction: Panthers 31, Saints 27

Because Drew Brees is no longer walking out from that visiting Saints locker room, Carolina had to feel so much more at ease. The historically mistake-prone Jameis Winston beat out Taysom Hill to be Brees’ successor, and Darnold can strayed away from his turnover-filled past on Sunday to put on an excellent performance. Winston threw two picks and couldn’t get anything going, as this Panthers defense looks legit.

Week 3 — Carolina Panthers won 24-9 @ Houston Texans

  • When: Thursday, September 23 at 8:20 PM EST on NFL Network
  • Spread: Panthers -8.0 (BetMGM)
  • Over/Under: 43 points
  • Money line: Panthers (-350), Texans (+275)
  • Sportsnaut projection: Panthers 21, Texans 10

Don’t look now but these Panthers are now 3-0 on the season after what has to be described as a dominating performance against Houston in Week 3. Continuing his stellar play, recently-acquired quarterback Sam Darnold completed 23-of-34 passes for 304 yards with two rushing touchdowns. The only concern here is the hamstring injury Christian McCaffrey suffered in the win.

Carolina Panthers schedule predictions

Carolina Panthers schedule and 2021 season predictions
Jun 9, 2021; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold (14) during OTAs at the Panthers Training Fields. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Week 5 – vs. Philadelphia Eagles

DateTime (ET)TV
Sunday, Oct. 101:00 PMFOX

Unless Jalen Hurts really shows something as an NFL sophomore, he faces an uphill battle to be a franchise quarterback. The Eagles don’t have enough depth in their defensive backfield to hang with Carolina’s receiver trio of DJ Moore, Robby Anderson and Terrace Marshall Jr.

  • Week 5 prediction: Panthers 27, Eagles 16

Week 6 – vs. Minnesota Vikings

DateTime (ET)TV
Sunday, Oct. 171:00 PMFOX

These are two of the most evenly matched teams on the entire NFL schedule. Both are built similarly, with elite running backs, excellent receiving duos, and talented-but-flawed defenses and quarterbacks. The tie goes to the home team here.

  • Week 6 prediction: Panthers 31, Vikings 27
Carolina Panthers schedule and 2021 season predictions
Dec 29, 2019; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey (22) looks on from the field during the third quarter against the New Orleans Saints at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Week 7 – @ New York Giants

DateTime (ET)TV
Sunday, Oct. 241:00 PMFOX

This is going to be fun, because once upon a time, Giants general manager Dave Gettleman essentially tanked Carolina’s roster into oblivion with a series of horrible draft classes. This new Carolina regime will have a little something extra in terms of bragging rights if the Panthers pull this one out, and they actually match up well with New York personnel-wise.

  • Week 7 prediction: Panthers 27, Giants 21

Week 8 – @ Atlanta Falcons

DateTime (ET)TV
Sunday, Oct. 311:00 PMFOX

The Falcons’ defensive front has done a bad job pressuring opposing quarterbacks in recent years. They also don’t have the means to stop Carolina’s excellent rushing attack led by Christian McCaffrey. That’s an ideal recipe for Darnold’s success.

  • Week 8 prediction: Panthers 38, Falcons 28

Click here to find out if Sam Darnold makes the cut of our top 20 NFL QB rankings

Week 9 – vs. New England Patriots

DateTime (ET)TV
Sunday, Nov. 71:00 PMCBS

When Darnold infamously was “seeing ghosts” on live national TV, he was facing New England. The young QB hasn’t displayed the football wherewithal since then to show he can outfox the legendary Bill Belichick. Even with a much better supporting cast in Charlotte, don’t expect Darnold to take down the mighty Patriots.

  • Week 9 prediction: Patriots 17, Panthers 13

Week 10 – @ Arizona Cardinals

DateTime (ET)TV
Sunday, Nov. 141:00 PMFOX

Because of Kyler Murray‘s dual-threat ability and presumed progression entering his third season, the Cardinals are a trendy pick to make the playoffs. They’ll be hard-pressed to do that in the NFC West, though, so they must beat inferior opponents at home when the opportunities arises. This is one such occasion.

  • Week 10 prediction: Cardinals 31, Panthers 20

Week 11 – vs. Washington Football Team

DateTime (ET)TV
Sunday, Nov. 211:00 PMFOX

Washington QB Ryan Fitzpatrick has Curtis Samuel, Terry McLaurin and Dyami Brown who can all beat the Panthers deep. That’s what this matchup boils down to. Plus, the Football Team has an elite front that can stymie McCaffrey and pressure Darnold by only rushing four. Not the best of news for the Carolina faithful hoping an upset is in the offing.

  • Week 11 prediction: Washington 27, Panthers 10
Carolina Panthers schedule and 2021 season predictions
Nov 22, 2020; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Carolina Panthers defensive end Brian Burns (53) during the first quarter against the Detroit Lions at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Week 12 – @ Miami Dolphins

DateTime (ET)TV
Sunday, Nov. 281:00 PMFOX

If McCaffrey can’t get going on the ground, Darnold is going to have a hard time completing anything on the Dolphins’ stout secondary. It’s not like Tua Tagovailoa is a phenomenal quarterback either, though, so expect the hosts to pull this one out in a low-scoring grind of a game.

  • Week 12 prediction: Dolphins 20, Panthers 13

Week 13 BYE

Week 14 – vs. Atlanta Falcons

DateTime (ET)TV
Sunday, Dec. 121:00 PMFOX

Shootouts are probably going to be commonplace for these two teams in 2021. Because Atlanta has fewer promising young players on defense, though, the Panthers should find a way to pull off the season sweep here.

  • Week 14 prediction: Panthers 42, Falcons 35

Week 15 – @ Buffalo Bills

DateTime (ET)TV
Sunday, Dec. 19TBDTBD

The road schedule for Carolina presents a lot of pitfalls, not least of which is a trip to Buffalo. Josh Allen is Darnold’s draft classmate, but made an extraordinary leap in Year 3 to run laps around him as a quarterback. That’s bad news for the Panthers, and it’s a fact that’ll be exposed for all to see in Week 15.

  • Week 15 prediction: Bills 45, Panthers 21
Carolina Panthers schedule and 2021 season predictions
Dec 2, 2018; Tampa, FL, USA; Carolina Panthers wide receiver DJ Moore (12) runs with the ball in the second half of the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Week 16 – vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

DateTime (ET)TV
Sunday, Dec. 261:00 PMFOX

Any time. Any venue. Doesn’t matter. Home cooking won’t save the Panthers from getting blown out by the Buccaneers. The only area Carolina has a talent edge is in the backfield with Christian McCaffrey. Otherwise, this is a complete mismatch.

  • Week 16 prediction: Buccaneers 42, Panthers 24

Week 17 – @ New Orleans Saints

DateTime (ET)TV
Sunday, Jan. 21:00 PMFOX

Playing at the Superdome is never easy, and there’s a familiarity factor here, as Panthers offensive coordinator Joe Brady spent time on the Saints staff under Sean Payton. Due to Payton’s superior experience and New Orleans’ better all-around defensive talent, it’s hard to envision New Orleans not getting at least one win off Carolina this year.

  • Week 17 prediction: Saints 35, Panthers 27

Week 18 – @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

DateTime (ET)TV
Sunday, Jan. 91:00 PMFOX

Asking Darnold to square off with the Super Bowl champion Buccaneers, who are returning all their starters on offense and defense, is a big ask — never mind doing so twice in a three-game span to finish the schedule. Tom Brady and the Bucs have too many weapons for the Panthers to ultimately keep up with.

  • Week 18 prediction: Buccaneers 38, Panthers 17

Carolina Panthers record prediction: 7-10

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