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Are the Carolina Panthers a Threat?

Steve Shoup

By Guest Writer Adam Lockley:


The Carolina Panthers are off to their best half of the season since 2008 when they had an overall record of 12-4.  The Carolina Panthers are one of the biggest surprises of 2013 as they currently hold a record of 5-3.  The Panthers defeated their division rival Atlanta Falcons by the score of 34-10 for their fourth consecutive victory; five out of six overall.

The Carolina Panthers are slowly getting the NFL’s attention as a legitimate threat.  In five of their victories they have outscored their opponents 168-48.  The Panthers can credit their high-powered offense for their success this season as they have averaged 33.6 points in those wins.  Cam Newton has hurt opposing defenses with his versatility.  He has demonstrated the ability to hurt opponents with his legs and arm.

The interesting thing about the Panthers is the fact that nobody believed they would be a thought coming out of the NFC South.   Every expert anticipated another monster season from Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons.  The opposite has been the case as the Atlanta Falcons are one of the biggest disappointments this season at 2-6.

The Carolina Panthers are complicated.  Complicated because everyone has knowledge of their good record, but people have to realize that the Panthers have faced mediocre competition.   The teams they defeated have a combined record of 8-33, and the Panthers did lose to mediocre teams such as the Buffalo Bills and Arizona Cardinals.  The Panther will face their toughest opponent since week one when they played the Seattle Seahawks.  The Panthers will take on the 49ers this Sunday at Candlestick Park.  This is the game where fans will witness what the Panthers are really made of.

Some people may say that the Panthers have had a fairly easy schedule, but who would have thought that the Falcons would underachieve so much.  Prior to the start of the season that game was prematurely marked as a loss.  Also the Panthers just might be capable of competing with the 49ers as they played Seattle tough in week one; losing by the narrow margin of 12-7.  It is astounding that the Panthers sit just one game behind the New Orleans Saints in the NFC South.  Are they a playoff team?  We’ll have to see in the second half of the season, but if you are a Panthers fan there is a good reason to be optimistic.



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