ESPN FPI Predicts Each Carolina Panthers Game for 2020 Season

Schuyler Callihan

The 2020 NFL season is almost here (hopefully) and the Panthers are gearing up for year one under new head coach, Matt Rhule.

Earlier this week, the ESPN Football Power Index (FPI) updated its game-by-game projections for each team. Below, you can see which games the FPI has the Panthers favored in along with our analysis of each portion of the schedule.

9/13 vs Las Vegas Radiers (51.3%)

9/20 @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (23.9%)

9/27 @ Los Angeles Chargers (28.7%)

10/4 vs Arizona Cardinals (48.9%)

First 4 games: Despite being favored in one of the first four games of the season, I'm not sure the FPI predictor is taking into consideration that to this point, Matt Rhule has only met roughly 20 players on his roster. The Raiders are a tough opening week opponent and to make matters worse, you see Tom Brady and the Bucs in week two and an up and upcoming Cardinals team led by Kyler Murray. Splitting these four games should be the goal, but I see only one win here, that being against the Chargers.

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10/11 @ Atlanta Falcons (30.7%)

10/18 vs Chicago Bears  (44.3%)

10/25 @ New Orleans Saints (14.9%)

10/29 vs Atlanta Falcons (43.3%)

Games 5-8: The month of October is a brutal one for Carolina. Not only do they have tough opponents, but three of these four are against division opponents, making these games all the more important. Unfortunately, there may not be a winnable game here.

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11/8 @ Kansas City Chiefs (13.9%)

11/15 vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers (35.9%)

11/22 vs Detroit Lions (54.5%)

11/29 @ Minnesota Vikings (25%)

Games 9-12: As if October wasn't difficult enough, the first half of November is just as challenging. Hitting the road to take on Pat Mahomes and the Super Bowl champion Chiefs will be a game that Panthers fans are probably not looking forward to. After the final date with Tampa, the final two games of the month are winnable and it could be where the Panthers find some momentum.

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12/13 vs Denver Broncos (49.1%)

12/20 @ Green Bay Packers (27.5%)

12/27 @ Washington Redskins (42.3%)

1/3 vs New Orleans Saints (25.8%)

Games 13-16: Call me crazy, but I see Carolina winning three of its last four games here. I haven't exactly nailed down which game I believe they will drop, but the team's improvement across the board will be recognizable at this point of the season.

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