The Carolina Panthers played a fantastic game against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. Although the Vikings have a losing record, they have a very good team with outstanding players. The Panthers are in a very similar situation but with a better record.
The Panthers are 2-3 so far and currently in second place in the NFC South division behind the New Orleans Saints. So far the NFL season has had many surprise performances by teams. The Panthers were expected to have a great season and easily contend for the playoffs. They had a very slow 0-2 start, but since Week 3 they have bounced back winning two of the last three games.
In Week 3 they destroyed the New York Giants 38-0 and in Week 6 they bull dozed the Vikings 35-10. Other than the lose in Week 5 to the Arizona Cardinals, their losses have been by less than six points.
The Panthers have two different personas. One of the personas isn’t liked by fans because it’s the team that can’t finish a game. They start strong but lose their momentum and have turnovers. This team seems to be very disconnected and the players seem to lack concentration.
The second persona is the Panthers team that is known for scoring over 30 points while holding their opponents to under 14. This team has strong chemistry and desire to win, and the players have a high level of execution and are focused. This is the team that can easily be considered one of the best in the entire league.
Panthers quarterback Cam Newton is a young player who started an era for mobile quarterbacks. He has broken several NFL records and has been awarded for his performances. For his third year in the NFL, Cam has shown a lot of maturity and is taking the role as a leader for the team. He has the potential to be the best at his position if he can play more consistent. However, his accuracy and power along with his ability to scramble makes him one of the most dangerous quarterbacks to face.
With Jonathan Stewart still injured, the Panthers have relied heavily on DeAngelo Williams. He has been one of the most consistent running backs in the league, ranking fourth overall for average yards per game. He is a powerful workhorse with great speed and a dangerous running back who doesn’t fumble often. He hasn’t reached the end zone this season, but his back up Mike Tolbert has. Tolbert is a wrecking ball who gets the short yardage carries and plays in the red zone. He has a knack for powering the football down the throat of the defense and smashing the ball into the end zone for points. This duo of running backs is very dangerous and tough to defend against.
The Panthers wide receivers had a difficult time at the beginning of the season. It was unclear as to who was going to occupy the No. 2 spot opposite of veteran Steve Smith. The two main options were Brandon LaFell and Ted Ginn, but the biggest concern was their inconsistency to make big plays in games. However, LaFell and Ginn have stepped up in one way or another making big plays and finding the end zone. It is still unclear who is the No. 2 receiver, but both candidates have proven they are dangerous. The tight end Greg Olsen is also another dangerous offensive weapon and one of the best tight ends in the league. He is very consistent and finds ways to make the catch and get positive yardage. He is a favorite target for Newton and has the skills to punish most defenses.
The biggest issue with this high powered offense is inconsistency. If all of these players can get on the same page and play with the same level of intensity, they will be hard to stop. They need to keep their focus and minimize their mistakes. If they can perform to the best of their ability, along with some great play calling by the coaching staff, they will score many points and have a great season. It will be very difficult for any defense to match up against them. The Panthers’ offense has enough talent at every position to be considered one of the best in the league.