The Carolina Panthers will look to rebound from a dismal 2016 season and look to recapture that 2015 magic that led them to a 15-1 season all the way to the Super Bowl. However, in order to do so, plenty must go right for them. Cam Newton must become a more well-rounded QB and the defense must get back to smacking opponents around. It sounds easy but nothing ever is when the Panthers are concerned.
Here are 3 Bold Predictions for the Carolina Panther 2017 season.
Cam Newton Will Struggle Again
For all the talk of Newton being an elite player– his stats and winning percentage suggest otherwise. We can mention that remarkable run the Panthers had in 2015 but what about the year’s prior? Newton has not had the proper weapons to help propel him into the upper echelon of QB’s but he’s done well with what he’s had. What if Cam wasn’t a runner? What if Greg Olsen’s age finally catches up to him? Newton’s problem is not too much receiver-based it’s also his knack for not delivering the ball on time or on target. An elite QB does not overthrow or underthrow receivers as much as Cam does. I still like Newton but he has to find a way to manage the game better.
Panthers Will Finish The Year 0-6 In NFC South
It’s just not in the cards. Fans are still looking for that 15-1 team but that was two years ago. What’s more depressing is that their fans still will not admit that was a fluke year. Look at the record since Newton was selected. Most teams will see that fluke year coming. With the Panthers, it was mediocre season after mediocre season then BOOM. Well, the good teams know how to build off a season like that. Not the Panthers. What they did was regress and there seems to be no end in sight as they enter the 2017 season. The defense has made adjustments but the offense may have gotten worse. While they managed to win the NFC South 3 of the past 4 years most of that was due to the poor play of the new Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Atlanta Falcons. Well, it’s safe to say that all three teams have improved this offseason except for the Panthers.
Panthers Will Have The Best Front 7 in The NFL
The Panthers defense will be lethal. With the addition of Julius Peppers and the return of All-World LB– Luke Kuechley, the team will have what should be the best front 7 in the league. Running on the Panthers will be a no-no. Opposing QB’s will have to develop a quick release with Peppers and Charles Johnson coming around the ends. Kuechley is still flanked by Thomas Davis and will halt any ground attack coming their way. However, the front 7 will have to play lights out as the Panthers secondary will be put on an island against the likes of Julio Jones, Drew Brees, Matt Ryan and now DeSean Jackson twice this season. If the front 7 cannot manage at leat 55 sacks, this will be a hard season to watch.