3 Games Panthers Must Win At All Costs on 2024 Schedule

Adam Thielen and the Panthers hope to improve on a 2-15 campaign in 2023
Adam Thielen and the Panthers hope to improve on a 2-15 campaign in 2023 / Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
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3. Week 13 vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Dec. 1

It's a tall task to knock off the defending division champions. If the Panthers are serious about competing though, this is the ideal time to earn a massive win at home. Carolina came close last year, holding the Bucs to nine points in a shutout loss and falling by three on the road.

Of course, there's also the storyline of Tampa Bay being Dave Canales' former team. This is the first matchup between these teams, so it'll be Canales' chance to show they made a mistake letting him go.

Canales helped Baker Mayfield revive his career. Perhaps he knows what buttons to push to disrupt the former No. 1 overall pick. 13 weeks into the season, maybe Canales can have a similar impact on Bryce Young as well.

Canales' comments about helping Young with his footwork are a good sign. Young is in a much better position to succeed, and he'd love to knock the Bucs off late in the season in front of his home crowd.

There's a lot to like about Carolina's direction. Limping through a one-win or even no-win division schedule would be a big blow to the progress, but beating the Bucs would inspire confidence in the organization. They're two-point underdogs, meaning sportsbooks give them a real chance.

If the Panthers win these three games, chances are high it'll be a successful season.

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