NFL Power Rankings: Panthers rise entering Week 17
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ESPN – No. 7 (+1)
Carolina earned a late game victory over the Buccaneers on the heels of quarterback Cam Newton’s third game winning drive this season. In this week’s analysis looking at projected win totals, the Panthers have already out performed their preseason prediction.
"9 wins: Cam Newton has had some of the best success of his career running this year, which has helped Carolina to 11 wins. Newton currently leads the team in rushing and has set a career high in yards on designed rushing plays."
Moving up another spot, Carolina positioned themselves as the first non-division leader in the rankings. As the season concludes the Panthers will be hard pressed to improve their position, even with a win over Atlanta.