Expert picks Carolina Panthers: Part Two

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I hope you enjoyed yesterday’s posting of an expert picking the Carolina Panthers to make the playoffs in the 2015 season.

As I mentioned, I received some inside news regarding odds and the Carolina Panthers for the 2015 season.  From who you ask?  NFL analyst Kevin Stott of went through and made his 2015 season NFC playoff predictions which you can read about here – NFC Playoff Predictions – and the Panthers were on the list.

Yesterday, we shared Stott’s best and worst moves the Panthers made this offseason.  Today, we share the other reasons why Stott feels as if and places the odds, where the Panthers will make the playoffs this season.

Jan 3, 2015; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart (28) runs the ball against Arizona Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell (93) during the second quarter in the 2014 NFC Wild Card playoff football game at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

Question:  Who does Kevin feel will have the most impact for the Panthers in 2015?

Answer: Obviously the fans and team itself will be pulling for Newton to shine in that first year of his new contract, especially for the valuable confidence it would bring to him personally. But the player who may have the most impact this season may be RB Stewart. With Williams gone, he’ll have to obviously be featured more and that could work against Carolina in that the defense can key in on Stewart when they think the Panthers are in a running situation. But I think he’s up for the task and I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw a breakout, 200-carry, 1,000+ yards, 10+ TD season from Stewart. He’s that good. And strangely enough, if the passing game is clicking early on for Carolina, it could be better for Stewart, as then OC (offensive coordinator) Mike Shula can use him more often in surprise situations where he can possibly ramble off even more yards. Hopefully the Panthers run Stewart early and often to soften up the opposition’s defenses as he is one of the hardest guys in the NFL to tackle and could have a very bright future…even tucked away in Charlotte. I’d love to see him have a bust-out year.

Next: Why do the Panthers have the playoff edge?