NFL Power Ranking: NFL Media Says Panthers Are Its Shiny New Toy
It’s officially that time of the week: NFL Power Rankings. It’s a buying frenzy and the NFL media avidly takes hold of the Carolina Panthers stocks.
Just a week after a No.24 average power rank, NFL writers rushed to their laptops to rack up massive ratings for the Panthers – most notably the Pro Football Network’s No.7 rank, an incredible jump of 18 places compared to No. 25 last week. “This is the kind of Carolina Panthers team I expected to see,” proclaimed Pro Football Network. Of course they did.
The Panthers are the hottest team of the week and the national media love each other with a shiny new toy. What if they lose to the Houston Texans on Thursday? Everything will return to normal and this same media will completely forget Carolina. But let’s hope they maintain the victories.
OK OK. I should clarify that not everybody got on the bandwagon. NFL.com, Sporting News and Sports Illustrated were much more careful and tempered in their assessment of the team than the others. Accessories for them.
Aggregating multiple rankings on the internet, the Panthers rank on average 14th (down from 24) in the 32-team NFL.
Let’s see what the league media is saying about the Panthers after Week 3:
NFL.com: # 18 (up from 25)
Wins over the lowly Jets and a decimated Saints side raise doubts over the validity of their 2-0 start, but the Panthers certainly look like a team that has the capacity to hang on to the majority of the NFC. Sam Darnold was efficient and flawless behind a solid offensive line, while Christian McCaffrey put the offense on the back for consecutive weeks. Defense has been the real eye-opener here; Led by Shaq Thompson, Carolina continues to assault the opposing quarterback and put offensive game plans into the mix. The schedule remains flexible in Week 3: A Thursday night road trip to Houston to face third-string rookie QB Davis Mills. The Panthers have a chance to hit October with some serious momentum.
NBC Sports: # 16 (up from 26)
Sam Darnold crossed 300 yards for the first time since week 12 of the 2019 season. What a difference to make from Adam Gase to Joe Brady.
CBS Sports: # 11 (was 23)
Matt Rhule has this young team that plays good football. Defense has a chance to be special and can really make an impact on a game.
ESPN: # 15 (he was 23)
Fantastic surprise: QB Sam Darnold
You can’t say Christian McCaffrey here because nothing he’s done is a surprise. So, the nod goes to Darnold who, without turning it on, showed the consistency the Panthers were hoping for when they traded for him. Darnold has three touchdowns on a single interception, and he also has a rushed touchdown. Most impressive is that he completed 68.5% of his passes, up from the 59.8% he had in three years with the Jets. – David Newton
Sports news: # 20 (he was 25)
It’s hard to get a good read on the Panthers after the Jets and Saints made a lot of mistakes in the clashes against them and Sam Darnold just did what he needed to face Christian McCaffrey and the aggressive young defense. But that sounds like a pretty good formula for wildly targeted success.
Professional football network: 7 (instead of 25)
This is the kind of Carolina Panthers team I expected to see – not the 2-0 ranked Panthers at the top of the NFL power table, but the young team that could spoil better teams throughout. season as they continue to grow.
I have no doubts that Matt Rhule is a program builder and he’s the kind of person to make that happen at the college and NFL level. They won’t win the NFC South, and they might not be a playoff contender by Week 18. But they’re high here because you are who your record says you are.
Yahoo! Sports: n ° 14 (he was 25 years old)
Sam Darnold will receive a lot of attention, but it’s the defense that needs more respect. This is a really exciting unit with what feels like a high end pass rush. The Panthers made life miserable over the offense of the Saints. Keep an eye out for Carolina as this could be a playoff team.
Sports Illustrated: # 17
Should the Panthers be taller? May be. But I thought about the old man “who would you choose to win on neutral ground?” Method and I’m not ready to put them higher than that. It was obviously a very impressive performance against the Saints, but it’s still a young team and I’m interested to see how they deal with the speed bumps or growing pains that come along along the way.
DraftKings: # 2 (based on point differential)
The point breakdown provides a bit more context on each team, and how a team behaves in relation to numbers can provide insight. This is more art than science, but it is more information to determine the best, the middle of the field and the worst around the NFL.
It’s not a good benchmark for how the teams are at the moment, but in November we should have a good idea of the top performing teams. Seeing the Eagles and Panthers at the top could prove to be a relic for too long. Either way, seeing as it’s only week 2, we’re seeing a lot of movement on the board.
New York Post: No. 12 (was 23) (no editorial)
Czikk’s point of view: # 20 (was 25)
Can you say I’m a little wary of the national media overvaluing the Panthers? That’s because I’m more likely to take advice from the folks at Cat Scratch Reader, the Charlotte Observer, and other outlets across the state who cover the team year round. Don’t be fooled by the national media who are interested in their new fashion.
I think the Panthers will come back to earth. They’re just a long way from the Buccaneers or other NFL elites, and it’s not a shot at the team at all. In fact, I really like Carolina’s potential.
Do they deserve, say, a # 15 ranking? I’d love to see this, but let’s see more evidence first. The Panthers remain a young and untested team. I’ll keep them at # 20 for now.