2022 Carolina Panthers Schedule: Full Listing of Dates, Times and TV InfoMay 13, 2022
Few teams in the NFL need a turnaround season as much as the Carolina Panthers.
After all, the franchise has one winning season and has not won a playoff game since its loss in Super Bowl 50 ended the 2015 campaign. It is a combined 15-34 during the last three seasons and is coming off a last-place finish in the NFC South.
Competing with the likes of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New Orleans Saints feels like a long shot at best, especially after the Panthers weren't able to demonstratively improve the quarterback position this offseason even though they drafted Matt Corral in the third round.
That leaves Sam Darnold under center, who was just 4-7 as a starter for the Panthers last season.
He has another opportunity to prove Carolina made the right decision to acquire him via trade from the New York Jets after the 2020 season and will look to make the most of it while throwing to rising star D.J. Moore at wide receiver.
Here is a look at the schedule they will need to navigate to accomplish that turnaround.
2022 Carolina Panthers Schedule
Complete schedule information available on the team's official website
The 2022 schedule is something of a mixed bag for the Panthers.
On the one hand, it is a last-place slate. That means favorable matchups against the Detroit Lions and New York Giants. On the other hand, there are a number of challenging contests just based on the divisional matchups the NFC South drew for 2022.
Games against the AFC North means a head-to-head showdown with the reigning conference-champion Cincinnati Bengals. As if playing Joe Burrow wasn't enough, Carolina also has to face potential contenders in the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens and a Cleveland Browns squad that now has Deshaun Watson.
The Panthers also face the other Super Bowl team in the Los Angeles Rams and two teams coming off playoff appearances in the San Francisco 49ers and Arizona Cardinals because of games against the NFC West.
Their additional 17th game against the Denver Broncos also got far more challenging when the AFC West squad traded for Russell Wilson this offseason.
Throw in divisional matchups against Tom Brady and the Buccaneers and a Saints team with a strong defense and a returning Michael Thomas, and the 2022 slate will not be an easy one for Carolina.
The thought here is Brady's return clears the Buccaneers to defend their NFC South crown.
That will leave the Panthers competing for a wild-card spot if they are going to make the playoffs, and the best way to do that is by defeating the Saints in their head-to-head matchups. New Orleans went 9-8 last season and just missed the playoffs, but it was a solid 5-2 when Jameis Winston started.
He is back, as is his presumed top target in Thomas and a rookie playmaker in Chris Olave. Combine that with a solid defense, and New Orleans looks the part of a playoff contender that the Panthers will need to challenge.
Elsewhere, the games against the 49ers and Cardinals stand out.
If the defending-champion Rams are going to win the NFC West, San Francisco and Arizona will also be competing for wild-card spots like Carolina in this hypothetical. That means the head-to-head games will carry additional weight, especially when it comes to potential tiebreakers.