Welcome to the NFL Roundtable!
Each week, 5 questions on the NFL, if you have questions, please comment below or send them to us on Twitter @7poundbagdotcom. Use the hashtag #Ask7pound for any roundtable Questions.
1. Are the Panthers for real?
Steve: Cam Newton is for real, and their defense is a lot better than advertised. I said the Panthers were going to win the NFC South this season, and they are holding true to form. Their success is a surprise to some, but not me. Yes they are for real.
Jim: You can’t be undefeated at this point and not be for real. Are they better than Green Bay? Probably not. Are they better than New England? Definitely not. But they among the upper class of the NFL, and they’re looking at a solid first round bye and possibly home field through the playoffs if this continues. And if you look at their schedule, it could easily continue.
Dan: Yes, the Panthers are for real. They’re a good team and they’ve been showing it this season. This just beat the Eagles on Sunday Night Football. They beat the Saints. They beat Seattle in Seattle. They haven’t lost this season. This team is for real and they’re showing it.
Joe: Real enough… but, they will not go undefeated and they will not make the Super Bowl.
Their run game is pretty good right now as Jonathan Stewart steadily improving which takes pressure off of Cam Newton and the pass game is doing real good, especially with some folks touting Cam Newton as an MVP candidate with his first half performance so far. But, I expect Newton to settle down a tad as the season progresses. The Philly game might even be a hint that the “settling down” has already begun, in fact.
The defense appears decent with a bend but never breaking tendency but their trend of allowing an opponent to get over 100 yards rushing in a game (3 out of 6 games) is a bit troublesome.
They have a game coming up against Green Bay that will tell a lot about who Carolina is as a team. And, they still have to play Atlanta twice.
But, after Green Bay and before the Atlanta games, they have a stretch where they play Washington, Dallas and New Orleans… teams that will all be fighting for their playoff lives… the point being that as teams start getting desperate and are still within reach of the playoffs they can start getting dangerous and second halves of the season can sometimes be a bitch for so-called undefeated teams when they have to play some of them teams.
Bottom line… I think the Panthers are good but maybe not good enough to go real deep into the playoffs.
Steve: Easily. The only reason the Colts will probably make the playoffs this year is because of the division they are in. The only team that may give them a run is the Titans, and they just lost their QB for a few weeks. This division will probably be won with no more than 9 wins with the rest under .500. Don’t hold your breath to much, because the NFC East is right there with them.
Jim: You are only as good as your results. And the AFC South’s results are just pitiful. When your best team…a team that was supposed to contend for the title, is 3-4, you suck. Period.
Dan: I think so. The leader in the division is Indy who has faced injuries from Andrew Luck all season. But they just lost to New Orleans. Tennessee surprisingly made it a game in Atlanta in a loss 10-7, Houston allowed a blow-out to happen and made the game unwatchable even for Dolphins’ fans by half. The Jaguars won surprisingly in London (only place the Jaguars can get fans to show up for a home game it seems). This division is just trash though. I can’t see the winner making it farther than round 1 in the playoffs. No other division is worse, even the NFC East (for how wishy-washy they’ve been) are better.
Joe: Ummm… yeah. What else can I say? They just are.
Steve: No, they lack leadership on and off the field. Stafford has not performed, Johnson has not performed, Bush is not the same person, the defense took a step back, this team sucks, and nothing they do will help them.
Jim: The Lions fired a terrible offensive coordinator and promoted the water boy to the position, best I can tell. A shake up doesn’t help anyone. A solid proven offensive coordinator would though. Jim Bob Cooter Bubby Ray Scooter Elroy is not the answer though. They’ll get worse, not better.
Dan: No. It might help them win some games but they aren’t winning the NFC North and they aren’t grabbing one of the 2 Wild Card spots. So overall, I don’t think this shake up will do actual good in turning them into a playoff-caliber team.
Joe: Nope. The Lions biggest problem is their personnel on run and pass protection are just not doing their job. Changing offensive coordinators isn’t going to fix that in my opinion.
Now, changing some of the guys on the line might but it’s a little late in the season to find real good offensive linemen to just jump into the mix at this point.
Steve: It should be, and considering the altercation he ran into this past week, Even Jerry Jones may be second guessing himself on why he gave him another shot. This guy is a cancer and should not be in the league.
Jim: Greg Hardy shouldn’t be on any team. The fact that the Cowboys have him suited up is a pitiful shame and an embarrassment to the league. But if the NFL doesn’t take action, then it doesn’t matter. Because the Cowboys organization does not care.
Dan: He’s been given too many chances. It came out on Yahoo! today that Dallas had to cover for him in a practice because he was late, he blew up on the sidelines in the game. He’s had other off-the-field issues. There’s a problem with him. His next screw up should be his last. He needs to control himself.
Joe: Hardly (pun unintended)… what with owner Jerry Jones and Coach Jason Garrett enabling the shit out of him with their comments about his actions on the sidelines?
Like I said, it is hardly his last chance. He will have to do something really exceptionally outrageous or really tragic before it becomes his last chance and hopefully that doesn’t include anyone getting seriously hurt or worse.
Steve: I’m really excited about this. I mean I am a Packers fan, and the Broncos are my team in the AFC. Rodgers vs Manning. Can Rodgers escape the Denver D? Both teams are 6-0 and are having great seasons, Some call this a Super Bowl preview. I don’t think that with the way New England is playing, but this is going to be a great game. I like the Broncos in a close game. 31-27.
Jim: I live in Colorado. My excitement level is about as high as it is for seeing my company’s flag football team play. I’m never excited for a Broncos game. They’ve been magicians all season, getting saved over and over by their defense, because their quarterback is just a mess. He’s got a 72 QB rating, 7 interceptions, and a wobbly duck of a pass that should be embarrassing. Hopefully Green Bay shows them how bad they truly are. And with a Green Bay win…I’ll get excited.
Dan: My excitement level is at a 10. Both teams are 6-0, Denver is led by Peyton Manning and company with a great overall team. But an even better 6-0 Green Bay Packers team is playing off a bye week. McCarthy is 8-1 off bye weeks and has won the past few years consecutively. He gave his players 8 days off (double the mandatory minimum) and the Packers have looked real good this year on both offense and defense. I don’t see Denver winning this game. The odds aren’t for them. GB stays undefeated, Denver turns to 6-1.
Joe: Meh… I don’t think the Broncos are really all that good and maybe they will make the playoffs but I expect them to be one and done if they do… therefore, this game is not really exciting me all that much. I expect the Pack to win in a walk.
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