Last year’s NFC South title was definitely a fluke for the Carolina Panthers. The defense is for real, and it will be stout again. However, this team has some issues on offense. The receiving corps wasn’t even that great to begin with, and their top three WRs are all gone. They’ll try to replace them with a rookie (Kelvin Benjamin) and the mediocre at best Jason Avant. Yikes!
Cam Newton might be starting to fulfill his potential, but he can’t do it alone. His OL isn’t exactly hot stuff either.
The offseason was not kind to this team. Only the K.C. Chiefs, arguably, had a worst off-season Overall, NOLA has to be the favorite in the NFC NASCAR division. However, Atlanta is their biggest competition. Tampa is starting from scratch; and Carolina’s well, we’re talking about Carolina’s issues.
GM Dave Gettelman’s decision to cut Steve Smith seems even more questionable now. Yes, he had very little wiggle room to work with under the cap. However, there is nothing substantial replacing him. So now they’ll be overly dependent on DeAngelo Williams, and with this OL, which just lost their starting LT to retirement, it’s not where you really want to be.
Here’s a video from Fox Sports analyzing this very topic:
Greg Olsen “G Reg” as he was known during his amateur hip-hop MC days in college, is now back in a similar situation to the 2009 season in Chicago. In the first year of the Jay Cutler era, Olsen was the main target since there were no good receivers on the team. Maybe Benjamin can shut me up about this talking point. He’s big, tall and fast. Let’s see what Chico can do with him
And the Carolina Panthers play their home games in Bank of America Stadium. And since Bank of America is the ANTI-CHRIST, they are indeed the most inept, evil and amoral enterprise on this Earth, it can’t help. Nothing to do with football I know, but it still sucks.
Bottom Line: It’s really looking like 9-7 to 7-9 or somewhere thereabouts. The talent is there on D. However, it seems that everyone else in the division improves. or at least they addressed their team weaknesses. The Carolina Panthers tried but got worse. The Atlanta Falcons should leapfrog Carolina. And the Saints are a notch or two above both of the teams. That said, I would not be surprised if Carolina was still able to grind out a playoff berth on the strength of their defense and running game.
Paul M. Banks owns The Sports Bank.net, an affiliate of Fox Sports and Yahoo! The Postgame. He’s been a guest on news talk shows all across the world. Banks has been featured in numerous media outlets including NFL.com, Forbes, Bleacher Report, Deadspin, ESPN, NBC, the History Channel and more. President Barack Obama follows him on Twitter (@paulmbanks)Powered by Sidelines Follow paulmbanks