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Posting a losing record can have silver linings. Teams that do wind up with higher draft picks and tend to have an easier schedule the next season. The Carolina Panthers are in that position heading into 2021.
According to the NFL, Carolina has the seventh-easiest strength of schedule this year based on their opponents’ combined win percentage last season.
The traditional strength of schedule metric is of course a bit outdated. Using projected win totals is a bit more accurate, at least.
If we go based on the Vegas projections, the Panthers are right in the middle of the pack. According to Warren Sharp, the team ranks No. 15 in strength of schedule based on forecasted win totals.
via Sharp Football Analysis
Any way you want to look at the opponents on their schedule, it gets a lot harder after Week 8, and Carolina’s final four games of the year are especially brutal.