We’re one step closer to the NFL season, as the Panthers 2020 schedule has been released.
The 2020 Panthers schedule is out and we finally know when Carolina will play each of its opponents. The Panthers will face Patrick Mahomes, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Kyler Murray, Aaron Rodgers, and several other stars in the regular season.
With new quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and head coach Matt Rhule in the fold, there is optimism that the Panthers could surprise in 2020.
This schedule, of course, could be altered by COVID-19 and the contingency plans being made to accommodate a football season. The season could start with any week and the preceding weeks would happen after Week 17. We’ll have to see how the summer progresses before finalizing these dates.
Here are the opponents, along with some notes about each.
Carolina Panthers 2020 Schedule
Week 1 – vs Las Vegas Raiders
The opening game of the season (maybe hopefully) has the Panthers pitted up against the Las Vegas Raiders. The Panthers have started with a West Coast team in four of the last five seasons.
Week 2 – at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Ooh boy, what terrible luck. The Panthers get to face Tom Brady in his Buccaneers home opener. He’ll have potentially just lost to the Saints on the road to start the season and will be looking for blood. This one could get ugly quick.
Week 3 – at Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers will be playing in their new home – SoFi Stadium. The stadium will seat 70,240, a major step up from the Stubhub Center. Considering the team couldn’t fill the smaller stadium, this might just amplify the issue. This could potentially be Panthers’ fans first look at Justin Herbert.
Week 4 – vs Arizona Cardinals
Don’t sleep on this early season match-up, with electric performers Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins coming to town. There will be so many articles written about Isaiah Simmons and Derrick Brown and whether the Panthers made the right choice.
Week 5 – at Atlanta Falcons
Overall, the beginning of the Panthers schedule is not murderous. If the Panthers are able to squeak out two wins in the early going, we might be looking at this Falcons game as a big match-up. Time (and Bridgewater’s play) will tell.
Week 6 – vs Chicago Bears
Newly acquired Nick Foles will likely be manning a decent Bears squad. The Bears have a weak offensive line and lack of offensive weapons, which could make the game winnable for the Panthers.
Week 7 – at New Orleans Saints
Even with all the additions the Buccaneers made, the Saints are still considered the favorites in the NFC South. This is will be Bridgewater’s first match-up against his old team and he had good success in the Superdome, going 2-0. It will likely be an emotional return. And then the Panthers will get bludgeoned.
Week 8 – vs Atlanta Falcons (Thursday Night)
The Panthers only primetime game is kind of a snoozer but it’s probably better than risking being embarrassed by the Saints or Chiefs.
Week 9 – at Kansas City Chiefs
Yikes, if they play them, this is likely the most difficult game on every team’s schedule. Mahomes is the future of the NFL and playing him on road is an unenviable task.
Week 10 – vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers
If you can only make one home game this season, this is likely the one to target. The Panthers haven’t played Brady in Charlotte since 2013, a 24-20 Carolina win. Tickets on Stubhub are already climbing over $120 for this game, so getting in won’t be easy or cheap.
Week 11 – vs Detroit Lions
Are the Lions good? When Matthew Stafford was healthy last season, the team looked rather good and pushed the Packers to the edge on multiple occasions. This game depends on whether you believe in coach Matt Patricia improving the existing Lions roster, as the team didn’t do a ton to improve in free agency.
Week 12 – at Minnesota Vikings
Bridgewater started his career as a Viking after being drafted by the team with the last pick in the 2014 first round. He was 17-11 as Viking before injuries derailed his career. Since he left the team, he’s played only one snap against the Vikings in 2018. This will be the first opportunity for him to return as a starter.
Week 13 – Bye
A super late bye week for the Panthers, which could really behoove them if the season is pushed back at all. The Panthers had a Week 7 bye last year.
Week 14 – vs Denver Broncos
Am I the only person that thinks the Broncos could be sneaky good this year? Drew Lock looked competent under center last year and the team added a plethora of weapons around him. On the defensive side of the ball, Von Miller and Bradley Chubb make up a fearsome pass rush duo. This game could be more difficult than most realize.
Week 15 – at Green Bay Packers
The Panthers have historically struggled at Lambeau Field but last year’s match-up showcased what an incredible venue it can be. Many people are predicting a step back for Rodgers and company, but this will still be a fun and snowy game against a potential Super Bowl contender.
Week 16 – at Washington Redskins
Undoubtedly a game that Panthers fans will have circled on their calendars if nothing else because the team will by this point be out of the playoff race and this will provide a talking point. Everyone, of course, knows that Ron Rivera now coaches the Redskins and this will be his “revenge” game. The bigger storyline could be the race for the no. 1 overall pick, with the loser of this game earning the prize.
Week 17 – vs New Orleans Saints
If the projections are correct, the Saints will have clinched the division by Week 17 and this might be an opportunity to steal a win at the end of the season. Or the Saints might be playing for their seeding and playoff lives. And then the Panthers will get bludgeoned.