Lets take a look at how the Panthers schedule looks.
They should be looking at 3-0 to start. They get the Bucs (No Revis) with a new coach, and the only one I’m really worried about is Banks back there. Next up is the Lions, a far scarier team, but as the home opener, and they Panthers WR corps should be solid this week on that secondary. I am just not enthusiastic about the Steelers this season, and the Panthers should be able to reallt see what the new guys can do against that secondary.
So even with the Panthers own lack of a solid secondary, I think 3-0 is a pretty solid bet. I know they are talking WR and OL early in the draft, but I have to think they are going DB early and often in this draft. They drafted ZERO DBs last year, working on the front seven and did an excellent job, time to do the same for the secondary.
Week 4 is a killer, Steve Smith gets a crack, and that secondary is going to pay dearly for the 3M in savings. Next up is the Bears, good enough to beat the Panthers if they have a letdown if they beat the Ravens. I almost think it they beat the Ravens they lose here, if they lose to the Ravens, they beat the Bears. I am not a fan of the Bengals, I think thats a win. So I have them at 5-1, going into the hard part.
I’m scared of the Packers this year. I think this is a bounce-back year, and then 2 home games against the Seahawks and Saints. That Secondary, and the O-Line get another real workout with this threesome. I can see 0-3, 1-2,2-1 there. Thats a HARD row to go on. 0-3 does not mean the season, since the schedule breaks with almost all division games to go.
BUT. Let the Panthers go 2-1, and they have beaten 3 playoff teams so far this season, and possibly two division champs. Lets go 1-2 just for arguments sake. 6-3 so far. I got big problems with this Eagles team, they could be good, could be awful. could be world beaters. They have an easy division, and could be feeling their oats. The week after that is the Falcons. I’m giving the Panthers a split. Just because both teams could be 10-win teams or 10-loss teams.
7-4 going into the bye.
I’m not scared of the Vikings, I don’t care who they draft at QB, then going to the Saints. I think having played them, they beat them in the rematch, then the Bucs again, followed by the home season ender vs the Brownies. Thats a 4-0 stretch, 3-1 if the Saints game goes the other way. 10-5 at worst, 11-4 Is my guess.
Then the Falcons again, The Falcons may need this game for the Division, a playoff spot or to save the Coaches job. Tough. The Panthers close them out for the second year in a row to end the year at 12-4.
Thoughts on the Schedule.
They open at the Bucs, then don’t see an NFC South Opponent until Halloween, so even if they have a HORRID stretch in that threesome, they can make ground up quickly.
THREE Highlight games. Really? With the Defensive Player of the Year, Cam Newton, and a solid double digit win team, they get THREE highlight games? In the NFC, teams you want to see should be the Seahawks, Niners and Panthers, in that order, then the Iggles, Cowboys and Saints in some order. This is ridiculous. The highlight games at vs the Steelers, Saints and Eagles. (Week 3, 9 and 10) The issue is I don’t see that many great matchups late unless the opponent is good in Minny and the rematch vs the Saints. No one is flexing a Browns game.
They are going to be beaten up by the bye week. I have them at a great record, but they are going to be exhausted. This might be a great thing come playoff time, but they should be feeling it and needing the rest.
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