The Carolina Panthers are coming into the 2013 with the expectations that they have an opportunity to make it to the playoffs. The Panthers would have an opportunity, but because of the strength of their division, they may be the worst team in the NFC South.
To be brief, the Panthers are lacking defensively. They drafted two great defensive tackles in Star Lotulelei and Kawann Short, but Carolina needs many more pieces defensively before they’re ready to take on the high-intensity passing offenses of the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints for supremacy in the NFC South.
They have improved their running defense, but it’s still hard to imagine their defense being able to stop Matt Ryan and Drew Brees.
I hate to break it to you, Panthers fans, but Cam Newton is not Superman; he’s not even remotely close. He is, however, an exceptional athlete that is capable of putting the team on his back when necessary.
Unfortunately, he tends to try and put the team on his back far too often. The Panthers have a spectacular run game with Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams, and an elite receiver in Steve Smith; Carolina needs to utilize these threats more often.
Yes, Newton can power through linebackers and defensive backs alike, but he would be much more dangerous if his explosive running ability was utilized less often. Running quarterbacks don’t win Super Bowls.
The Panthers are a playoff-bound team, but not this season. If Carolina can continue to draft well and improve their defense, they will have a legitimate chance next season at winning the NFC South.