Carolina Panthers Becoming NFC Powerhouse Thanks to Dominating Defense

By Ryan Wenzell
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Panthers are coming. After the Panthers dominated the line of scrimmage and made Colin Kaepernick look like simply another average quarterback in his home stadium no less, one thing became clear: The Panthers may have the best front seven and defense in the entire NFL.

The Panthers made life miserable for Kaepernick all day long. They racked up six sacks, picked Kaepernick once, and only allowed 11 completions for a measly 91 yards. They stifled Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers offense all day long.

It is time to start paying the Panthers their due. They aren’t talked about or in the headlines very often, but their defense has been balling all season long. Defensive coordinator Sean McDermott has them playing out of their minds right now, and star middle linebacker Luke Kuechly is the straw that stirs the drink. He is simply a monster in the middle. That didn’t change yesterday as he once again led the team with 11 tackles, two tackles for loss, a pass defended, and a sack. It seems like there are two of him as the guy is everywhere on the football field.

The Panthers are no slouches on offense either. Cam Newton is slowly but surely developing into a legitimate franchise quarterback. They can also run the ball down teams’ throats with DeAngelo Williams in the backfield. They feature the two things that win road games and playoff games: Defense and a running game. If Newton can just manage ball games and not make mistakes this team is bound to go a long way come December and January.

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