The Carolina Panthers could miss the playoffs according to ESPN…
Wednesday, ESPN wrote an article about the Carolina Panthers, but it was not the kind that fans like. The team was among the “Five teams that could drop out of the playoffs.” Not only that, they were tied with the Tennessee Titans for the top spot on the list.
David Newton, who covers the Carolina Panthers for ESPN.com, certainly has reasons to back up his opinions.
"The Panthers haven’t had a winning record in consecutive seasons since they began playing in 1995. If that pattern holds true, 8-8 or worse after going 11-5 a year ago won’t be good enough to make the playoffs this season in the tough NFC South, where New Orleans and Atlanta appear loaded for another run.Much depends on quarterback Cam Newton, who is transitioning to a new scheme under new offensive coordinator Norv Turner. He’s also working with an overhauled group of wide receivers. If Newton doesn’t improve in Turner’s system that relies on more high-percentage passes then it will be tough for Carolina to keep pace with the Saints and Falcons, who have two of the most explosive offenses in the NFL."
For starters, his point about not having back-to-back winning seasons since 1995 does not hold a ton of weight. Although history is not on their side, that should not be a reason to denounce them. Secondly, Newton makes it seem as though the entire group of wide receivers is new.
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Although the position did get an overhaul in the offseason, Curtis Samuel, Devin Funchess and Greg Olsen are among the returners. It is not as if the new additions are fresh out of college either. Guys like Torrey Smith and Jarius Wright bring veteran and playoff experience to a group that already has experienced a playoff run together.
One thing that I do agree with David Newton on is that Cam could struggle under Turner a bit. High-percentage throws is not something Cam had to do a lot of last year, so that could be a big change. However, it does not sound like something Cam should not be able to do. He has made a living off of being an explosive playmaker, and with weapons at his disposal, he should be able to make it work.
I certainly respect Newton’s opinion, but I disagree with it. The Carolina Panthers should have enough assets to be able to make a deep playoff run. They got much better in the offseason and should be able to put it all together and make it work.