With the 2015 NFL Preseason games now in the 2nd week, we will take a look at the 2015-16 Regular Season with a preview of the Panthers of Carolina whose fans have high expectations in this upcoming 2015-16 NFL Regular Season.
The Panthers surprised their fans and others, as they were the division champs and with a losing record, then beat the Cardinals of Arizona in the playoffs, but lost to the Seahawks of Seattle. They had an offense that turned on late, and stifled the opponent defenses late in the season. This season they were expected to be at their best, but now that’s questionable with the loss of star WR K. Benjamin for the season.
Their 2014 season ended with 3 wins 8 losses and 1 tie, and had a losing streak of some 6 games at the end of their 2014 13 weeks of games. They then turned things around with 4 consecutive wins and a division final win over the Falcons of Atlanta.
Apart from the fact that in 2014 they had a losing record, they were the 1st team to win the NFC South title in consecutive seasons. Thus, seeking a title in this 2015-16 seasons is not farfetched, as their primary offensive and defensive rosters are basically intact.
During the offseason the Panthers continued with their offensive scheme of a running game, and the back they expect to standout this season is J. Stewart, who should become the Panthers feature RB. That all depends on his health, as in the last 3 seasons he has missed some 20 games, and last season played 13 games, scoring 3 TD’s and rushing for 809 yards, as a backup to RB D. Williams, who is no longer with the Panthers.
A potential problem for the Panthers and QB C. Newton as his no.1 WR K. Benjamin had a season ending injury with a torn ACL and requires surgery. But they still have veteran TE G. Olsen and their speedy WR T. Ginn Jr. who add needed game experience to their roster. The Panthers in the offseason picked up tackle M. Oher from the Titans to play LT and protect QB Newton’s blind side of the offense. Then they have their #41 draft pick from Michigan WR D. Funchess who will now have to try and fill the role of departed WR Benjamin and his role has increased largely, since Benjamin was QB Newton’s favorite receiver.
The Panthers defense is another point of debate, since they are just 1 of 3 teams in the league to rank in the top ten in total defense over the past 3 seasons of the NFL, along with the 49’ers and the Seahawks. Defensively the Panthers MLB L. Keuchly is leading the team with 153 tackles in 2014 and that was a best in the NFL for 2014. He along with T. Davis the Panthers is well teamed to stop this season’s opponent’s offenses. Their pass rush will do fine if DE C. Johnson fills the roll of departing G. Hardy, as Johnson had 3 forced fumbles and 9 sacks in 2014 as a backup.
Without saying the most important player for Panthers is none other than QB C. Newton, as in recent years he has brought them a lot of success with his normal and gradual player growth and improvement. In 2014 Newton’s year statistically was not up to par compared to his previous and 1st 3 seasons in the NFL. Actually his stats for 2014 were career low stats for Newton with 18 TD’s, a QB rating of 54.5 with a 6.97 yards passing for each completion rating, and passing for a total of 3,128 yards. However, his comebacks play in the last games of the 2014 season, indicated his attitude to never give up.
QB Newton also adds to the Panthers dangerous rushing game even as they had no star RB. But QB Newton in 2014 had some 5 TD’s rushing for 539 yards, and became the 1st QB in 4 consecutive season to be the NFL best QB passer and rusher with 3,000 plus yards passing and at least 500 yards rushing for those 3 seasons.
With the fans who Bet on NFL at an Online Betting site, still excited about the Panthers upcoming season, the experts have a somewhat different view, as they believe that this season the Panthers will start on fast, struggle in the middle of the season, and then miss the play offs posting a record of 8 wins and 8 losses.