Carolina Panthers could exceed expectations
There is a quiet confidence among many that the Carolina Panthers can make immediate strides under new head coach Frank Reich and potential franchise quarterback Bryce Young. This is down to the major improvements made by the organization this offseason and the flux status of those within the NFC South after legendary quarterback Tom Brady finally brought an end to his glittering career.
Most sportsbooks have the Panthers at around 7.5 wins as their over/under for the 2023 season. But a recent feature from Jordan Dajani of CBS Sports put forth the notion that Reich's men could go way above this figure if everything clicks into place right away.
"The Panthers could be the team in the NFC South that rises above the rest. This offseason, Carolina scored head coach Frank Reich, quarterback Bryce Young with the No. 1 overall pick, a new running back in Miles Sanders, and some weapons in D.J. Chark, Adam Thielen, Jonathan Mingo and Hayden Hurst. Reich could end up being the best hire of this cycle, and his introductory press conference showed he has a good pulse on what this team is about -- and what it can be in the future. The Panthers went 7-10 last year despite all of the adversity, plus Carolina has the sixth-easiest schedule based on opponents' combined 2022 win percentage."- Jordan Dajani, CBS Sports
Not many outside of the organization genuinely believe - not yet, anyway. But those who've been paying closer attention can see the complete momentum shift almost from top-to-bottom across the organization after a frenzied period of activity before everyone descended to begin preparations.
It won't be easy, nothing in the NFL is. But don't be surprised if the Panthers far exceed the level expected in their first campaign under Reich.