To give insight into this, I listen to a podcast that has both authors of these articles on it.
The Power Rankings author is a rabid Jets fan who kind of doesn't want to see Darnold do well and be reminded, AGAIN, what a dumpster fire his organization is. He tries to say he's rooting for Darnold, but you can tell from other comments that he really doesn't. He's a little bit in denial about the Panthers playing well the past two weeks.
The QB rankings author is a Patriots (1st) and Saints (2nd) fan who often seems inexplicably annoyed by the Panthers. He also is a huge Teddy Bridgewater fan for reasons I can't figure out.
Of note, Marc Sessler is also on this podcast and he is a delight. He wasn't a big Cam fan, but he has been talking up this year's Panthers for awhile.
I think this is pretty fair when comparing these two seasons. We went to the SB on Cam and the offense's shoulders along with a lot of very timely takeaways. The D was solid but was not the strength of that team, it gets overrated because of the SB appearance.
2013 really is the bar on D. That D waltzed their way to 12 wins despite an extremely underwhelming offense both in passing and rushing. It was frankly an all time great D that is overshadowed by the Seahawks also having an incredible D that year and by our 1 and done playoff appearance.
When comparing this year so far to 2013, I'd say something like this, with plenty of time/room for 2021 to prove itself further:
2013 DL: A+
2021 DL: A
2013 LB: A+
2021 LB: B
2013 Secondary: B-
2021 Secondary: B+
2013 D Coaching: A+
2021 D Coaching: A-