We all know the Charlotte aren’t likely to make the playoffs in 2020, but should the Panthers playoff odds be the second-lowest in the NFC?
The Panthers are likely in for a rough season. With a difficult division and the team in the midst of a rebuild, the Panthers are not expected to contend for the Super Bowl in 2020. It may not be a shock for some to see that some outlets are projecting the Panthers playoff odds near the bottom of the conference.
After the conclusion of the NFL Draft, Sportline released its projections for the 2020 season and the results were not pretty for the Panthers. The Panthers were given the second-worst odds to make the playoffs in the NFC, clocking in at 9.7 percent chance to make the playoffs. Only the Redskins at 8.9 percent were worse. On average, the simulations showed the Panthers winning six games.
Much of the offseason news has been dominated by the news of Tom Brady leaving New England for Tampa Bay and joining the Panthers’ division. Brady and the Buccaneers were far from the favorite to win the division, however, with the Saints winning nearly 72 percent of the time. The Buccaneers won approximately 23.2 percent of the time, with the Falcons in third with 3.7 percent. The Panthers finished with the worst odds at 1.9 percent.
It’s tough to find teams to place behind the Panthers in the rankings. The Cardinals have former No. 1 overall pick Kyler Murray running an improved offense and the Falcons still have elite talent on offense. If Atlanta’s defense can stay healthy, it could have a bounceback season.
One team that could easily slide beneath the Panthers is the New York Giants. Daniel Jones showed promise as a rookie but New York’s roster is littered with holes. Apart from Saquon Barkley, it’s tough to find much to like. In all simulations, the Giants and Panthers finished tied with an average of 6.2 wins. However, due to the easier road New York faces in a weak NFC East, the Giants have better odds to win the division or make the playoffs.
The Detroit Lions are another team that is one Matthew Stafford injury away from another top-five draft selection. The Lions have struggled to build a consistent running game and finished with the league’s worst passing defense. Drafting Jeffrey Okudah will help, but the NFC North is stacked and the Lions probably don’t have the horses to compete. The health of Stafford will play a major factor, as he will look to prove that 2019 was a blip in an otherwise extremely durable career.
With superstars such as Brady, Drew Brees, Michael Thomas, and Julio Jones on the schedule, it’s tough to argue with the projections. In case you were wondering though, Sportsline does give the Panthers a 0.05 percent chance and 100-1 odds of winning the Super Bowl. Compare that to the infamous Leicester City underdog story (5000-1) and you can let your mind start to daydream of a Cinderella run.