CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WNCN) – The Carolina Panthers appear to have their new quarterback after they acquired Baker Mayfield yesterday from the Cleveland Browns. In less than three weeks the team starts off its training camp in Spartanburg, South Carolina. What better time than to predict how Carolina’s season might play out than right now based on its current roster and outlook if we put pen to paper?

Week 1:

Cleveland Browns @ Carolina Panthers

Prediction: Loss

Ironically, Mayfield’s former team will come to Charlotte in Week 1 to take on the Panthers. The Browns made the move to acquire quarterback Deshaun Watson and trade Mayfield for a reason. While Watson’s legal issues are still ongoing, we will assume he is good to play in the season-opener and will show why the Browns made the decision that they did.

Baker Mayfield
Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield throws during the first half of an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens, Sunday, Dec. 12, 2021, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

Week 2:

Carolina Panthers @ New York Giants

Prediction: Win

In arguably Sam Darnold’s worst game as a Panther last year, the team mustered just three points in New York as they lost their fourth straight game. Expect the Panthers to get their revenge and pick up their first win of the season against a highly-questionable Giants roster early on in the upcoming season.

Week 3:

New Orleans Saints @ Carolina Panthers

Prediction: Win

The Panthers open up NFC South play in Week 3 when the new-look Saints come to town under new head coach Dennis Allen. Expect growing pains for them in the month of September and the Panthers to beat a team that they have beaten just twice dating back to the start of 2017.

Week 4:

Arizona Cardinals @ Carolina Panthers

Prediction: Loss

The Panthers open up a daunting 3-week stretch against the loaded NFC West in Week 4 when they play host to the Cardinals. Last year, the Panthers went to Arizona as 7-point underdogs, with a newly acquired Cam Newton, and handed the Cardinals their second loss of the season in a dominant 34-10 victory. While Arizona will be without star receiver DeAndre Hopkins, it will be a tall task for the Panthers to take down the star-studded offense of Arizona two years in a row.

Week 5

San Francisco 49ers @ Carolina Panthers

Prediction: Win

Carolina wraps up 3 straight home games when they host the 49ers in Week 5. Just one win from the Super Bowl, the 49ers offseason has been highlighted by the displeasure of star utilityman Deebo Samuel. It sounds like quarterback Trey Lance will be their signal-caller this season as well. I expect the 49ers, who started last season 2-4, to take a small step back this year and the Panthers to pick up an impressive win.

ARLINGTON, TEXAS – JANUARY 16: Micah Parsons #11 of the Dallas Cowboys attempts to tackle Deebo Samuel #19 of the San Francisco 49ers during the fourth quarter in the NFC Wild Card Playoff game at AT&T Stadium on January 16, 2022 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Week 6

Carolina Panthers @ Los Angeles Rams

Prediction: Loss

While this season should feature clear improvement, the Panthers aren’t a Super Bowl-caliber team quite yet and you can expect this trip out west to showcase that.

Week 7

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Carolina Panthers

Prediction: Loss

Not a very fun two-game stretch for Carolina. They have been outscored 150-63 in four games against the Tom Brady-led Buccaneers. Tampa Bay will probably widen that gap some more in Week 7.

Week 8

Carolina Panthers @ Atlanta Falcons

Prediction: Win

A trip to Atlanta is just what the Panthers will need after those two games in weeks six and seven before then heading to Cincinnati. This is not only a game they should win, but it will be a game they have to win if they want to be competitive for a wild card spot in the second half of the year.

ATLANTA, GEORGIA – DECEMBER 05: Kyle Pitts #8 of the Atlanta Falcons carries the ball after a reception as Ross Cockrell #43 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defends during the second quarter at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 05, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Week 9

Carolina Panthers @ Cincinnati Bengals

Prediction: Loss

The young Bengals will only be better after their run to the Super Bowl last year. It will be a tough task, but don’t be too surprised if this is one of those games like Arizona last year where the Panthers go in and steal one. Mayfield is 6-1 against the Bengals in his career, but that was with Cleveland and in the same division. For now, we’ll give the defending AFC Champs the benefit of the doubt and a win.

Week 10

Atlanta Falcons @ Carolina Panthers

Prediction: Win

A short week for the Panthers as they host the Falcons on Thursday Night Football in their only primetime game of the year. Atlanta is a team they should beat twice this season, something they haven’t done since 2013.

Week 11

Carolina Panthers @ Baltimore Ravens

Prediction: Loss

Quarterback Lamar Jackson and the exhausting Ravens offense will be quite a task for Carolina. At least they have a few extra days to rest after Thursday Night Football. Unfortunately, on the flip side, the Ravens are coming off their bye week and are 11-3 in such games under head coach John Harbaugh.

PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA – DECEMBER 05: Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens looks to pass against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the first quarter at Heinz Field on December 05, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

Week 12

Denver Broncos @ Carolina Panthers

Prediction: Loss

Don’t expect payback for Super Bowl 50 in this one. Russell Wilson will lead a revamped Broncos roster this year and it’s hard to expect the Panthers to get in their way.

Week 13

Bye Week

A late bye week will be good to prepare the predicted 5-7 Panthers (at this point) for their final five, very winnable, games.

Week 14

Carolina Panthers @ Seattle Seahawks

Prediction: Win

The Seahawks are undergoing a rebuild and, as of now, will be led by Geno Smith at quarterback, despite the trade for Drew Lock in the Russell Wilson move. The Panthers have to win this game and it can be expected that they do.

Week 15

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Carolina Panthers

Prediction: Win

Carolina gets another team with a new QB at the helm in Week 15. Whether it is Mitch Trubisky or Kenny Pickett leading the Steelers, the Panthers should be able to win it. They have beaten the Steelers just once in franchise history and it was in 1996. This win is 26 years in the making and will have the Panthers in a Wild Card race with three games to play.

Week 16

Detroit Lions @ Carolina Panthers

Prediction: Win

The Lions have the youngest roster in the NFL and will continue to improve this upcoming season. The difference in week 16 is that the Lions will be playing for pride while the Panthers will be playing for a playoff spot. That’s enough to give them the edge over Detroit.

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – JANUARY 02: Amon-Ra St. Brown #14 of the Detroit Lions catches the ball for a touchdown in the game against the Seattle Seahawks at Lumen Field on January 02, 2022 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Week 17

Carolina Panthers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Prediction: Loss

It is possible the Buccaneers will be playing for nothing at this point in the season, comfortable in a playoff spot. If there is anything at stake, however, Tom Brady will not lose late in the season. A bump in the road in Tampa Bay will set up a must-win for the Panthers in Week 18.

Week 18

Carolina Panthers @ New Orleans Saints

Prediction: Win

We saw last year that you can make the playoffs at 9-8. The Panthers would enter this week at 8-8 and would need to win this game. It’s only July right now, so let’s give them a win in this game happening in six months and enter the season with optimism about a potential playoff appearance, especially with the uncertainty surrounding New Orleans.

Final prediction: 9-8 with a chance at a Wild Card berth if the cards falling the Panthers way.

Kayla Morton contributed to this article.