Panthers in the power rankings before Week 3

NFC South: Saints 9th, Buccaneers 12th, Falcons 24th

ANALYSIS: "The Panthers are 0-2 and Christian McCaffrey is expected to miss four to six weeks after suffering a high ankle sprain in Sunday's loss to the Bucs. The All-Pro back told reporters on Monday that he hopes he can accelerate that timetable, but in the here and now, Teddy Bridgewater will be asked to carry Carolina in Week 3 against the Chargers. Bridgewater has never been that kind of quarterback, and it's fair to wonder if a Panthers team without McCaffrey is one that will sink quickly into irrelevance."

NFC South: Saints 5th, Buccaneers 15th, Falcons 22nd

ANALYSIS: "No player has benefited more from Joe Brady's fast-paced offense than Anderson, who leads the team in receptions with 15 and is second in targets with 18. He has topped 100 yards receiving in both games -- 109 on nine targets in Sunday's loss to Tampa Bay and 114 yards and a touchdown in the opening loss to the Raiders. He has developed a solid chemistry with quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. With the Panthers seemingly destined to play from behind, Anderson will continue to flourish and become more consistent, something that has kept him from being a top receiver in the past."

NFC South: Saints 11th, Buccaneers 13th, Falcons 20th

ANALYSIS: "They have defensive issues that will show up on a weekly basis. The offense needs to do more than it did in the first half against Tampa Bay, but that will be tough without Christian McCaffrey."

Pro Football Talk
NFC South: Saints 8th, Buccaneers 9th, Falcons 21st

ANALYSIS: "They've performed admirably, but that becomes a lot harder with the best running back in football not available for a month or so."

NFC South: Saints 8th, Buccaneers 13th, Falcons 27th

ANALYSIS: "It was already fixing to be a long season in Carolina.

With star running back Christian McCaffrey expected to be out 4-6 weeks with a high ankle sprain, per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, it's going to get a lot longer.

McCaffrey piled up 88 total yards and scored both of the Panthers' touchdowns Sunday against the Buccaneers, but he suffered the ankle injury late in their game. Although the fourth-year tailback said he was "fine" after the game, but Monday's MRI revealed otherwise.

"Carolina's defense is terrible," Davenport said. "Teddy Bridgewater threw for more than 300 yards Sunday, but he was picked off twice. And now CMC is hurt. Looking at Carolina's schedule, it's hard to point out many matchups that look like potential wins. This team is going to be in the hunt for a top-five draft pick—and possibly the new quarterback that comes with it."

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