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2022 NFL Power Rankings: Carolina Panthers

Throughout the 2022 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Below you will find a Week 18 roundup for the Carolina Panthers in our consensus 2022 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 24

Regular season in five words or fewer: Chaotic

The Panthers fired coach Matt Rhule five games into his third season, traded away their best player in Christian McCaffrey a week later and blew a 14-0 lead in Week 17 with a chance to set up a Week 18 opportunity to win the NFC South. And oh, they began the season with Baker Mayfield as the starting quarterback and finished it with Mayfield a member of the Rams and Sam Darnold, who lost the job in camp, as the starter.

NFL.com -- Rank: 18

The Panthers had it all in front of them. Carolina was up 14-0 in the first quarter and 21-10 early in the fourth, but turnovers, combined with repeated coverage breakdowns around Mike Evans (three touchdowns, 207 yards receiving), were too much to overcome in a 30-24 loss to the Bucs. Tampa Bay wins another NFC South title, and Carolina is left to ponder how this game might have been different if star cornerback Jaycee Horn hadn't been sidelined by wrist surgery. The Panthers will finish out the season with a matchup against the Saints -- it's a game that means very little in the standings but could have a big impact on ownership's ultimate decision on interim coach Steve Wilks.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 24

They blew a big lead against Tampa Bay to get eliminated from the playoffs. They have to find a quarterback.

USA Today -- Rank: 18

Their belated drive to steal the NFC South ended Sunday. But shoutout to interim coach Steve Wilks, who's gone 5-6 (he was 3-13 in one season at Arizona under tough circumstances) for a team that was left for dead after Matt Rhule's dismissal.

Yahoo! -- Rank: 25

The Panthers were close. They led Tampa Bay 21-10 in the fourth quarter, and a win would have put them in prime position to win the NFC South. But they didn't have a cornerback to cover Mike Evans with Jaycee Horn out, and Tom Brady and Evans snatched the win from Carolina. That probably costs interim head coach Steve Wilks any realistic shot at getting the job full time, though he has done a very good job.

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