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2020 NFL Power Rankings: Carolina Panthers

Throughout the 2020 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Here is where the Carolina Panthers rank in terms of average, best and worst:

Below you will find a Week 13 roundup for the Panthers in our consensus 2020 NFL Power Rankings.

The Athletic -- Rank: 24

Exceeding expectations: If you're a Panthers fan, you have to be excited with what you've seen from Matt Rhule. Carolina's offense has been a lot of fun, and while the defense lacks talent, it hasn't been a complete disaster. Rhule tries stuff like fake punts when the Panthers are big underdogs, and he appears to be building strong relationships with his players. This wasn't going to be a quick rebuild, but the early signs with Rhule are encouraging.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 21

That was a tough loss at Minnesota, but that defense is starting to come together. That unit will be nasty in a year or so.

USA Today -- Rank: 21

After hitting eight of 11 field-goal tries beyond 50 yards last year, K Joey Slye is 1-for-6 in 2020 -- including missed 54-yarder Sunday that would have brought a win.

ESPN -- Rank: 20

Most important game remaining: Week 14 vs. Denver

In other words, the next game coming off the bye. It's important because it will show how the players and staff bounce back from a fourth-quarter collapse in Sunday's 28-27 loss to Minnesota that all but ended any hopes of a playoff berth. It's important because realistically it might be the only winnable game left on the schedule, with Green Bay, Washington and New Orleans after that. All three of those teams will be fighting for a playoff spot. It's also important because it likely will mark the return of running back Christian McCaffrey (shoulder) and set the tone for 2021. -- David Newton

NFL.com -- Rank: 22

Jeremy Chinn scored on fumble returns on consecutive plays from scrimmage in the third quarter. Dalvin Cook was held to just 3.4 yards per carry. Carolina had the lead and the ball inside the Vikings' 10-yard line with less than two minutes to play. But in the end, all of those positives weren't enough to stave off defeat, a dramatic 28-27 setback that effectively eliminated the Panthers from postseason contention. Teddy Bridgewater didn't exactly light it up in his Minnesota homecoming, but hang this loss on a defense that surrendered 18 points in the fourth quarter and allowed Kirk Cousins to march 75 yards in just 65 seconds for the game-winning touchdown. The Panthers are either the best bad team or the worst good team in football. Whatever they are, it won't be enough to extend their season beyond Week 17.

Previous update: Carolina Panthers Week 12 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

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