USA Today projects average Carolina Panthers 2019 season
The Carolina Panthers are projected to finish 8-8 during the 2019 season.
After winning six of their first eight games last season, expectations the Carolina Panthers would finish with a losing record were seemingly non-existent. Then, week after week, Carolina came up short on the scoreboard until they salvaged a regular season finale win over New Orleans in a game played mostly by backups and reserves.
The win served to provide a reminder of what the first half felt like and highlighted the importance of each and every week throughout an NFL season. No one is guaranteed a victory and with injuries, slumps, personnel or coaching changes – the tide during a year can leave teams riding high or feeling low depending on where they are in the journey.
Despite an eventful offseason where general manager Marty Hurney targeted many of the problem areas and what appears to be a healthy Cam Newton, USA Today still projects the Panthers to be average, at best, this year.
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A game by game breakdown isn’t provided but finishing 8-8 this season would almost certainly result in the end of the Ron Rivera era. Leading Carolina through their most prominent stretch in franchise history with four playoff appearances, three divisional titles and a Super Bowl appearance over eight years, it would be the worst two year stretch since he started in 2011.
Obviously the health of Newton is going to play a large role in how the season ultimately unfolds but if he makes it through, double-digit wins should be the goal. If so, the Panthers would likely contend for another divisional title and playoff appearance with both Atlanta and New Orleans – who are projected to finish 11-5 and 10-6, respectively.
Behind a revamped defensive front and a year of experience with offensive coordinator Norv Turner, 2019 should look much like the first half of last year – if not better. If so, expect more than eight wins.
View the remainder of league projections, all the way to the Super Bowl, from USA Today – here.