2021 Schedule

2021 Schedule
5-12, 4th in NFC South

Adam Schefter ESPN Senior Writer 

Panthers interviewing former Bears' special teams coordinator Chris Tabor and former Broncos' special teams coordinator Tom McMahon for the same job in Carolina, per sources.

Will Sam Darnold be the Panthers' QB next season? (1:40)
13d

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

Panthers coach Matt Rhule is addressing problem areas by first making changes in his staff. He has fired OL coach Pat Meyer, DL coach Frank Okam and special teams coordinator Chase Blackburn, per source. The O-line gave up 52 sacks this season, the first most in the league. The D-line was part of a group that ranked 18th in rushing yards allowed.

AP Photo/Jeff Roberson
14dDavid Newton

Panthers have 'no intention' of trading McCaffrey

Panthers GM Scott Fitterer said Monday that Carolina has "no intention at all'' of trading Christian McCaffrey but indicated the RB might be used more as a slot receiver in next season's offense.

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

Cam Newton talks about the closure he got in returning to the Panthers. Says relationships no longer are battered. He adds that he can still play and at ‘'a high level.''

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

Matt Rhule reiterated several times that owner David Tepper never has indicated he won't coach the Panthers in 2022, that all their talks have been about the future. “Since I took the job we've had a plan,'' Rhule said after finishing 5-12 after going 5-11 in 2020. "I'd like to be further ahead in that plan. No one likes the results that we have right now.''

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

Tony Romo said during the CBS broadcast he was trying to figure out what the Panthers' identity was on offense. Here's Sam Darnold's take: “Being able to run the football and play-action off of it was big, especially early on. I felt like we hit a lull after [the Patriots' loss]. That's when things kind of changed a little bit.''

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

Matt Rhule won't speak for Panthers owner David Tepper, but said every conversation they've had has been about the future, including prior to Sunday's loss at Tampa Bay. So he has been given no reason to think he won't be back for the 2022 season: “I've never had a conversation about anything about my job status, 'Hey, you're in peril.' ''

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

The Panthers should have plenty of good options to shore up the offensive line, specifically at LT, with the No. 6 overall pick of the 2022 draft. That might be too high for one of the quarterbacks unless one emerges from the pack. A lot can happen between now and then, however.

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

The Panthers (5-12) end their season on a seven game losing streak with Sunday's 41-17 thrashing at Tampa Bay. QB Sam Darnold did little to convince he could be the starter in 2022, completing 29 of 42 pass attempts for 219 yards with two touchdowns, but also an interception and lost fumble. He was more decisive and made a few nice throws, but nothing that suggests Carolina shouldn't be heavily involved in the QB market during the offseason.

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

The highlight of the first half of the Panthers-Bucs game was CBS analyst Tony Romo saying he was trying to figure out the identity of the Carolina offense. The Panthers dominated time of possession 21:37 to 8:23 and had a 188 to 140 edge in total yards, but trail 10-6. Identity has been an issue all season and something that must be solved.

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

Sam Darnold looks sharp and decisive in the Panthers' opening drive as the team continues to evaluate him. Decisive is key because that's been an issue. He completed 6 of 8 attempts for 49 yards, including a 2-yard touchdown to Chuba Hubbard.

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

Panthers' inactives: QB PJ Walker, S Jeremy Chinn, S Sean Chandler, LB Kamal Martin, DE Jacob Tuioti-Mariner, DE Azur Kamara, G John Miller.

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

Interesting on the three names that have come up in the Panthers OC search, per Adam Schefter. Bill O'Brien (52), the OC at Alabama, and Jay Gruden (54), are former NFL head coaches. O'Brien was the HC at Houston and Gruden at Washington. Former Carolina coach Ron Rivera used to talk about the importance of having a former head coach on staff when he was a new head coach as Matt Rhule is. Rams OC Kevin O'Connell (36) is the least experienced of the three and hasn't been a head coach.

Team Stats

Passing Yards190.529th
Rushing Yards108.420th
Points For17.929th
Points Against23.821st