Panthers in the power rankings before Week 10

NFC South: Saints 3rd, Buccaneers 7th, Falcons 19th

ANALYSIS: "The Panthers did just about everything right against the Chiefs, dominating in time of possession and putting up more than 30 points on the road. Typically, that combination equates to an easy win ... but things are different when Patrick Mahomes is involved. Mahomes torched the Panthers secondary for 372 yards and four scores, spoiling Christian McCaffrey's return from a six-game absence in a hard-fought 33-31 loss. McCaffrey went over 100 yards from scrimmage with two touchdowns, but his stay in the lineup might be short-lived: NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday that CMC, who was out previously with an ankle injury, could miss more time with a shoulder issue. That's unwelcome news for a Matt Rhule team that will try to break a four-game losing streak on Sunday against an angry Bucs team."

NFC South: Saints 5th, Buccaneers 8th, Falcons 24th

ANALYSIS: "Recalibrated expectation: Avoid the NFC South cellar

Four straight losses and a 1-3 record in the South for a team that has not been able to finish games doesn't bode well for anything but a last-place finish, particularly since Atlanta is playing better and the Saints and Bucs are fighting for playoff spots. Hey, expectations for this team to finish anywhere but last were pretty much nil when the season began, and only a 3-2 start while Atlanta opened 0-5 gave reason to think that might change. Now it appears everything is as predicted."

NFC South: Saints 4th, Buccaneers 7th, Falcons 18th

ANALYSIS: "Matt Rhule has this young team headed in the right direction for the future. It's too bad Christian McCaffrey is out again."

Pro Football Talk
NFC South: Saints 3rd, Buccaneers 10th, Falcons 20th

ANALYSIS: "Hopefully, Christian McCaffrey won't be gone for long."

NFC South: Saints 4th, Buccaneers 8th, Falcons 23rd

ANALYSIS: "The Carolina Panthers might well be the best 'bad' team in the NFL.

The Panthers got star running back Christian McCaffrey back in Week 9, and he immediately went right back to being the centerpiece of their offense. Although he piled up 151 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns, quarterback Teddy Bridgewater might have been Carolina's MVP at Arrowhead.

Bridgewater did his best to match Patrick Mahpmes blow for blow, throwing for 310 yards and two scores with a passer rating of 103.3.

But as has been the case far too often this year, Carolina came up short in the end, largely because a defense that allowed almost 400 yards of offense couldn't get stops when it needed to.

The Panthers have now dropped four straight after a 3-2 start, and with an angry Tampa Bay Buccaneers team coming to Bank of America Stadium in Week 10, the Panthers' fading playoff hopes are hanging by the slimmest of threads."

Carolina is 25-19 all-time against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, posting a 13-10 record at home and 12-9 on the road.

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