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2021 NFL Power Rankings: Carolina Panthers

Throughout the 2021 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 10 roundup for the Panthers in our consensus 2021 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 24

Bold second-half prediction: QB Sam Darnold will get benched.

This doesn't feel as much like a prediction as it does an inevitability based on Darnold throwing 10 interceptions in the last six games, five resulting in losses. It's not just the mistakes. It's also the lack of overall productivity by the offense, which has one touchdown in the past three games. Darnold getting back to making the poor decisions that prompted the New York Jets to trade him to Carolina and move forward with rookie Zach Wilson just seems to cement his destiny. -- David Newton

NFL.com -- Rank: 25

The Sam Darnold era in Carolina reached its nadir on Sunday against the Patriots. The struggling quarterback appeared skittish and tentative in Joe Brady's offense, throwing three interceptions -- including a crushing pick-six -- in Darnold's latest nightmare performance against Bill Belichick. Matt Rhule elected to keep Darnold behind center for the entire game, despite his struggles, but Rhule could lose his team if he doesn't give backup P.J. Walker a chance to fix a broken offense. Carolina's decision to trade for Darnold and pick up his fifth-year option is beginning to look like a huge error in judgment by the organization.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 22

The offense is terrible with Sam Darnold. They might need to make a change. He can't get anything going.

USA Today -- Rank: 26

So after all the optimism surrounding QB Sam Darnold's fresh start and early season performance, he's now tied for the league lead with 11 INTs while sporting a career-worst 71.3 passer rating ... which is saying something.

The Athletic -- Rank: 25

Are they good? They're really not, at least lately. They've dropped five of six games after a 3-0 start, and quarterback Sam Darnold leads the NFL with 11 interceptions, including three in Sunday's loss. On Tuesday, we learned Darnold is likely out for a few weeks with a right shoulder injury. P.J. Walker will start in his place. Getting Christian McCaffrey back to his healthy self will help, but the offensive struggles are spoiling a top-10 defense. Those last two NFC wild cards are wide-open, but the Panthers don't have an easy remaining schedule, still facing the Bucs twice and trips to the Cardinals (this week) and Bills.

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