Landing spot: Teddy Bridgewater has found a new home, in North Carolina. There, he will be joining former Baylor head coach Matt Rhule in this new system. The Panthers have dealt with an injured Cam Newton for a while, and they are getting ready to let go of him. Teddy Bridgewater seems like a good fit to start fresh. With Carolina, he will also have Christian McCaffrey to help him lead this team in a tough NFC South.
How the new team will be affected:
Carolina had a not so good year last season. To begin the season, in the second game, they lost their starting quarterback for the whole season. They wrap the season up last in the division, going 5-11, long time head coach Ron Rivera gets fired, and they are ready for a fresh start. That is the perfect situation set up for Mr. Bridgewater. In his previous destination (New Orleans), Teddy was the backup for Drew Brees. He went 5-0 in all of his starts, proving his worth as a starter elsewhere. In Carolina, he has one of the best dual-threat running backs in Christain McCaffrey. In the 2017-18 season, the Panthers were an 11-5 team, with high hopes. Injuries would later kill this team, but they have brought in a quarterback who lead the Vikings to the playoffs and went 5-0 with the Saints in his starts. I would say that the Pathers will be affected in a good way, and won’t regret this.
How the old team will be affected:
The Saints obviously will not be affected by this that much at all. Bridgewater was a backup for Drew Brees, and he was a good one. New Orleans would miss him a lot if Drew Brees were to have an injury that keeps him out for a while. Let’s say that Brees has another injury that keeps him out for five weeks. They would be starting Taysom Hill, who is okay, but they would rather have a stronger backup in Teddy B.
Is he worth the money?
Bridgewater just signed a contract for three years, worth $63 million. Considering his small run in NOLA, it seems that about $21 million a year is right. He is a veteran quarterback, who can run, and is accurate for the most part throwing the ball. If Bridgewater can do what he has done in the past, the NFC South may have 3 teams in the race for a playoff spot.
Bridgewater´s fantasy stats probably will not be decreased this year. He will have a starting role in Carolina, a dual-threat running back, and decent receivers. In his five starts during the 2019 season, Teddy had 90.46 fantasy points, averaging 10.1 points per game. Not the best for a quarterback, but expect those stats to improve next year. He threw for nine touchdowns, and just two interceptions in his short stint.
After Tom Brady signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, things in the NFC South got a lot harder. You have the New Orleans Saints, who are at their peak, the Atlanta Falcons who have been inconsistent the last couple of years, TB12´s Bucs, and the Panthers. All of these teams have a good shot if we were being honest, and a max of three of them will make the playoffs. Tom Brady and the Buccaneers are going to have a great season. He has a coach who loves to throw the ball, two weapons in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, and an underrated defense. Drew Brees and his Saints have always played well against the division, there is no reason to count them out this year. I think that if Bridgewater and the Panthers can pull off a couple of upsets, I believe that they can make a run at the playoffs. An 11-5 record might not even get them into the postseason due to the difficulty of the division. If Carolina were in any other division, I would give them a better chance. I think that they will need to go 11-5 to make a wild card game this year.
My final prediction is that the Carolina Panthers will finish the year with a 9-7 record, falling short of the playoffs. I don’t see them beating the Buccaneers or the Saints this year, which automatically is four losses. The next three loses will come to Green Bay, Minnesota, and the Chiefs. Who knows, maybe they will pull off an upset, but they still have a very hard schedule. If Carolina could find a core receiver, then they would have a complete offense, but they don’t have one yet. Also, Matt Rhule is coaching for the first year in the NFL, so the inexperience may be present. The future looks bright for Carolina, I just don’t see the playoffs happening this year.
Top picture by: John Sigler, saintswire.usatoday