How will they Finish
(Ed Note: We all know the Panthers will go 19-0, and Cam Newton will not only Shatter Bree’s Record in passing, but Emmitt Smith’s Rushing Record as well)
Falcons don’t have the issues the Saints do, and have one of the best home field advanatges in the past 4 years- 3rd in the NFL. KC,Philly, and Zona all come to them, they only face two winning teams on the road out of div (NYG/Det)
Jones is 100%, and don’t forget jacquizz Rodgers is going to help Turner.
How you like that secondary? Robinson on one side- Samuel on the other?
TO Green Bay, TO Philly, To Dallas, TO Denver, they even go to Oakland.
All 4 losses last yesr (incl post) were, you guessed it, on the ROAD.
Beason’s already dinged up? Not good on that defense, still a year away. Cam year 2 is gonna be great- but double Smith, spy on Cam and then what? Throw to the TE 20 times?
Bucs have a good running game (even now with the injury) but all 3 teams can run AND throw.
Acquiring Samuel was a very shrewd pickup in my opinion. He is a playmaker with 39 INT’s in the last 6 seasons. He also should help the Falcons improve upon their pass defense: 20th in ypg and tied for 20th in passing TD’s allowed.
They lost 4 games by just 22 points in the first 5 games last season, the sign of a young and inexperienced team.
The defense was terrible last season, but I like this Panthers team a lot with the return of a healthy MLB in Jon Beason. He missed 15 games with an injured achilles tendon. However, a healthy Beason changes things a lot for Carolina imo.
3-New Orleans Saints
They lost some key players in G Carl Nicks, WR Robert Meachem, Tracey Porter.
To me, this season just has the vibe of a wasted one with all they have gone through in the offseason with Bounty-gate. I had heard of Joe Vitt, but Aaron Kromer?
4-Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
They improved a lot with their offseason moves (free agents WR Vincent Jackson, TE Dallas Clark, G Carl Nicks, CB Eric Wright and drafting RB Doug Martin), but they had nowhere to go but up after last years awful 4-12 season.
I got two words for you.
Read my Falcons Season preview and see just how bad the Falcons are going to miss him. You don’t just add a LB with 100+ tackles everyday, from your prime opposition for the division crown.
The Saints are playing this US vs Them card this year, and with good reason, the last time they played this card, it was post-Katrina, and they did pretty well.
The Saints have Brees, so the impact of missing SP is going to be minimal. The loss of Greg Williams, a little bit moreso, but the Saints were not going to win many 10-7 games anyway.
The scary thing for the Panthers is look at Cam’s passing numbers after the first two games. Not good.
The Panthers add an excellent player in a healthy Beason. He is going to be a huge upgrade to that defense and they also drafted Luke Kuechly to help out at the LB position. He was a good pickup and widely considered to be the best available pick at #9.
DT Ron Edwards had played in 80 straight games before missing all of last season. He should help bolster the run defense.
Sure, Cam’s numbers dropped, but who expected him to average 400ypg? Nobody. 4 INT’s the first 2 games and just 13 in the next 14. So, his decision making improved. And it will only get better.
Cam had a crappy defense last year and he had to try and do too much and put a lot of points on the board to rally the team.
The Panthers also upgraded a key area in special teams. An area that is often overlooked by the casual fan. They were awful last season (last in the NFL) and added kicker Justin Medlock, punter Josh Norman, and return man Joe Adams.
Cam won’t have to lead as many as long drives and the field gets shortened with a speedster like Adams.
Don’t tell me about Luke. I love the pick and other than trumping the Cowboys offer to move up, the best job they could have done.
But that being said- luke’s gonna be the Panthers version of Sean Weatherspoon. My problem with the Panthers (even though they will go 19-0) is that there is a full year of tape on Cam, and like many QBs his numbers next year could take a hit.
Keep in mind half the) tandem is already dinged up.
The Panthers had the 28th ranked defense last year.
The Saints, as I have said, added a guy with 100+ tackles to the 12th ranked rushing defense.
The Saints should EASILY have a top 7 defense vs the run this year.
What do the Falcons do? Run
What do the Panthers do? Run
What do the Bucs try to do? Run vs an 8-man front.
Panthers were 25th vs the run.
The NFC South also play the NFC East this year-
Anyone know if those teams like to run? Just a bit?
Carolina gets NYG at home- on FOUR days rest, and goto philly
Saints have philly at home, and go to the G-men with ELEVEN days to get ready
The Panthers allowed 26.8ppg, 27th in the NFL.
With the return of their defensive players in Beason, Edwards, and the addition of Kuechly….I believe they will cut that down to around 23ppg, which would be a great improvement and would have helped them win around 8-9 games last season. They will help out Cam, rather than expect him to carry them on offense.
Steve Spagnuolo is in his first season as the DC. It will take a season for the Saints to adjust to his defense. They could very well be better, but the same statistically wise as last season.
Kromer has never been a head coach and he is….an offensive line coach. And Carolina hosts NO in Week 2 on September 16th. I like Ron Rivera to outcoach him in that game.
You act like they can just operate without the HC (along with Brees) that arrived in town and changed the fortunes of a hapless franchise. I just think this is a season that will be a very difficult one to get through. This is unchartered territory for an NFL team.
Oh, and Brees finally signed a huge contract after a long negotiation on his new deal. He faces some pretty incredible pressure with those mega millions.
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