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NFL Carolina Panthers

5 Reasons the Carolina Panthers Will Steal the NFC South Crown

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5 Reasons Why Panthers Will Win NFC South

Bob Donnan – USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Panthers are on a roll and they don’t look eager to stop as they carry a seven-game winning streak into Week 13.

Following a great comeback win against the Miami Dolphins where Cam Newton showcased another MVP-level performance, the Panthers are now in the hunt for the NFC South with an 8-3 record while playing some solid football after a poor start to the season.

Even though they’re not favorites to win their division they could pull an upset once everything is all said and done.

Looking at the Panthers’ remaining games, they have winnable contests where they should be able to come out on top based solely on the way they’ve been performing. Their next matchups include a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the New York Jets and the Atlanta Falcons, three winnable games if they can keep up their level of play.

The tough part of the schedule are Weeks 14 and 16 as they will have two games against the New Orleans Saints in a division matchup. The team led by Drew Brees will be a real measure to see where the Panthers stand going up against one of the best teams in the NFL, and they could take a huge step towards winning the division if they can be successful against the Saints.

The Panthers have been great in recent weeks, and with a relatively favorable schedule they could surprise once the regular season is over. Without further ado, please join me through this slideshow as we check five reasons why the Carolina Panthers will steal the NFC South crown this season.

Juan Pablo Aravena is a sports writer for Follow him on Twitter @jparavenarant or add him to your network on Google

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5. New Orleans Saints' Remaining Schedule

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Saints are the current division leaders, but they will have a tough time retaining the top spot in the final weeks of the season. Beside the two games against the Panthers, Drew Brees and company have to visit the Seattle Seahawks and the St. Louis Rams, two tough teams at home.

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4. Panthers' Stellar Defense

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

There’s a cliché that says that to win a championship, good defense is a must. If that’s true then the Panthers would be considered as Super Bowl contenders. They can stop any team in the NFL and are near the top in every major defensive category as a unit.

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3. Playing the Saints at Home

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

There’s no doubt that the New Orleans Saints have one of the best offenses in the NFL, but they will struggle against the Carolina Panthers' defense on the road. This game will be key for Carolina because if they win they might take the division lead with only one game left.

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2. Favorable Games Remaining

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Panthers still have to face the Buccaneers (3-8), the Jets (5-6) and the Falcons (2-9) so they could easily walk away with three wins there. Even though the games against New Orleans will be decisive, if they can be undefeated in that stretch they might take a huge leap towards the divisional lead.

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1. Cam Newton

Robert Mayer - USA TODAY Sports

The Panthers will only go as far as Cam Newton can take them, and if that tendency continues until the end of the regular season then Carolina might end up with the top spot in the division once everything is said and done. Newton has already won games against top units like the New England Patriots and the San Francisco 49ers, and he should be able to lead the offense down the stretch.