Watching this team’s defense get into shape over the last few games has been a joy to watch. Unfortunately, things have continued to devolve on the other side of the ball. While there are some gifted playmakers on offense – most notably three nearly 1,000-yard worthy receivers – the offense is the inferior unit right now. Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater had another dud game against Washington and the win didn’t help their chances of potentially landing a new franchise QB.
Nevertheless, the team rose three spots in Touchdown Wire’s latest NFL power rankings, up to No. 25. Here’s Mark Schofield on the situation going into the last week of the regular season.
“The win hurt Carolina from a draft pick perspective, as the Panthers are now in danger of perhaps even falling out of the top ten depending on how Week 17 shakes out, but that could still put them in range of an elite talent depending on how the board falls. If, however, they want to go the quarterback route then Sunday’s win was perhaps a bit of a mixed result.”
Dropping five spots certainly doesn’t help, but it also doesn’t guarantee that they can’t pick a QB.
The question is does the coaching staff agree that a change is needed? For now, offensive coordinator Joe Brady’s assertion that Bridgewater gives the team the best chance to win is right. However, what’s become painfully clear since Bridgewater peaked halfway through the season is how low his ceiling really is. To have talents like D.J. Moore, Robby Anderson and Curtis Samuel and still have just 15 passing touchdowns is a failure, full-stop.
Bridgewater will still be around in 2021 and he may even start a few games, but this team needs to find a younger, more dynamic passer if they’re going to live up to Mr. Tepper’s expectations. The last general manager certainly wasn’t getting it done.
Things are about to get interesting around these parts. This next offseason will have a massve impact on how the Matt Rhule era plays out and whoever replaces Marty Hurney and Bridgewater could be the two most critical moves this franchise makes in the next five years.