Thursday, August 1, 2013

Born to Run: Carolina Panthers Season Preview

2012 Record: 7-9

2012 Rankings

Total Offense: 12
Passing Offense: 16
Rushing Offense: 9
Scoring Offense: 18

Total Defense: 10
Passing Defense: 13
Rushing Defense: 14
Scoring Defense: 18


The Panthers remain one of the top rushing offenses in the league with the double-headed monster of DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart in the backfield, along with QB Cam Newton who always presents a threat to run. Newton's sophomore campaign produced more wins than his rookie season but his numbers took a bit of a hit because of a lack of receiving options. After two years of being mired with mediocre quarterbacks, Steve Smith has returned to the conversation as one of the top receivers in the league, but the Panthers offense desperately needs a second option. Tight End Greg Olsen could be that player, but he failed to surpass 60 yards in any of the last 7 games last season.


The Panthers continued to add to their defense with the drafting of Star Lotulelei. Star will help solidify the Panthers down the middle and free up space for last year's first rounder Luke Kuechly to roam. Carolina still isn't great on the back end and in a division with Drew Brees and Matt Ryan, that presents problems.


Carolina won 5 of their last 6 last year with their only loss coming to the putrid Kansas City Chiefs. They averaged 28.8 points per game over their last 6 after putting up just 18.4 per game in their first 10. The offense was trending in the right direction at the end of the year, but there are still a lot of question marks on defense.


Not only is this team trending in the right direction, but 6 of their 9 losses were by less than a touchdown. They swept New Orleans and split with Atlanta in the division, so don't count these guys out. Cam needs to bring his A game, and that's the biggest question mark. 8-8.

No comments: