By Marc Lawrence, PlaybookSports.com — Last week Playbook expert Jeff Hochman shared his AFC Spotlight team – the Pittsburgh Steelers – and all the reasons they appear undervalued this season.
The focus this week shifts to his featured NFC Spotlight team – the Carolina Panthers. Jeff says:
The Carolina Panthers’ offense was clicking until RB/WR Christian McCaffrey went down with an injury. He’s key to the Panthers’ success because teams really need extra preparation time for his skill-set. When he’s out, opposing defenses can just focus on stopping the team, rather than trying to contain McCaffrey. His health is key to the Panthers winning at least 6 games.
Carolina signed RT Taylor Moton who will be a major upgrade. The offensive line should benefit with another year of experience from LT Ikem Ekwonu, who struggled in pass protection last season.
The defense is better than you think. Carolina had the 7th-best defensive line at Football Outsiders last season. Carolina was ranked No. 24 in team defense (DVOA) in 2020 and No. 15 last season.
Matt Rhule has a good history in his third season, going 10-3 at Temple and 11-2 at Baylor. Thanks to Marc Lawrence’s Playbook on the Matt Rhule stat.
Click here to see the complete story on the 2022 Panthers.