2014 Carolina Panthers Season Preview
The Panthers put together a season that tied the franchise record for most wins, and this year they’ll be aiming for a Super Bowl. Cam Newton and a very stout Carolina defense led the team to win 11 of their last 12 games, including victories over the 49ers, Patriots, and Saints. Newton will have to get on the same page with some new receivers quickly, as he lost his top three guys in Steve Smith, Brandon LaFell and Ted Ginn Jr. Replacing them is Jerricho Cotchery and Jason Avant, as well as draft pick Kelvin Benjamin out of Florida State. On defense, the Panthers were able to secure Greg Hardy for the season, and along with Charles Johnson they’ll look to give opposing QBs fits once again. Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis were also solid in the linebacking corps, and if Carolina can hold good offenses like they did in 2013, watch out for the Panthers. Carolina opens the season in Tampa, and will host the Detroit Tigers with the first home game. A slew of tough opponents are on the schedule in October, including away games in Cincinnati and Green Bay and home contests with the Bears, Seahawks and Saints.
2013 Carolina Panthers Season Preview
As a young team on the rise, the Panthers were relatively inactive this offseason. Where the Panthers did make some changes however, was on the defensive side of the ball. Carolina signed two players who are expected to start in the secondary—corner back Drayton Florence and safety Mike Mitchell. The focus for the Panthers in the NFL Draft was also on defense. With the 14th overall selection Carolina snagged Utah defensive tackle Star Lotulelei and then used its second round pick to draft another defensive tackle in Kawann Short from Purdue. Even with the additions, the defense will still hinge on the play of the linebackers—Jon Beason, Thomas Davis and reigning Defensive Rookie of the Year Luke Kuechly. Offensively, the Panthers will continue to run with DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart at tailback, Steve Smith at wide receiver, and third-year man Cam Newton under center. The Panthers are a team on the rise, and should continue to improve in the 2013 season.
2011 Carolina Panthers Season Preview
The Carolina Panthers had a rough go in 2010, going 2-14 and finishing at the bottom of the NFL. Now, with a new coach in Ron Rivera and Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton under center, the Panthers are looking to return to the playoff conversation in the NFC South. Though the Panthers have several options at quarterback, including a pair of second-year players and veteran Derek Anderson, many believe Newton will start very soon, as he is among the most physically gifted athletes in the NFL. Regardless of who starts, they will be joined by solid running backs in Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams, both of whom are reliable options. Wide receiver Steve Smith is also one of the most explosive pass-catchers in the NFL. Though the offense certainly needs to step it up from last year, that is even more the case with the defense. The front four is still reeling from the loss of Julius Peppers to the Bears last season, and have yet to find a suitable replacement. Instead, they will rely heavily on the young linebacking corps to form an identity in hopes of pleasing Rivera, who had been the defensive coordinator in for the Chargers and part of one of the best defenses in history–the 1985 Bears.
2010 Carolina Panthers Season Preview
The Carolina Panthers had an up-and-down season last year, characterized by the struggles of quarterback Jake Delhomme. Delhomme, just four years removed from bringing the team to a Super Bowl, was benched in favor of Matt Moore, and then signed by the Cleveland Browns during the offseason. Moore, who performed well in 2009, will lead a Panthers offense that features one of the most explosive receivers in the game in Steve Smith. Carolina is also home to one of the best running back tandems in the NFL, with DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, who both rushed for more than 1,000 yards last year. If they rely on their impressive running attack, and Moore can limit his mistakes, there's no reason to think that the offense will not improve from its production a year ago. The defense took a big hit this offseason, as a pro bowl defensive end Julius Peppers was signed by the Chicago Bears. Everette Brown and Tyler Brayton will be tasked with replacing Peppers, but that will not be an easy role to fill. However, the secondary should be solid as cornerback Chris Gamble and Richard Marshall provide good experience. The Panthers can have a nice rebound season if they can navigate through a tough schedule that includes two games against the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints.
2009 Carolina Panthers Season Preview
The Carolina Panthers head into 2009 with one thing on their mind; they want to seal the deal. The Panthers have had some marvelous seasons over the past few years but they have yet to win that elusive Super Bowl Champion ring. For Carolina to lift the Lombardi Trophy in Miami, they are going to need to get stellar play from quarterback Jake Delhomme, running back DeAngelo Williams and RB Jonathan Stewart. Carolina also wants to get a full season from talented, yet emotional wide receiver Steve Smith. Smith was suspended by the Panthers for the beginning of the '08 season due to an altercation in training camp. The best news Carolina got over the off-season was the re-signing of defensive star Julius Peppers. Peppers returns to anchor a stout Panther defense that will be a key to whether Coach John Fox gets his team a Super Bowl victory.
2008 Carolina Panthers Season Preview
The Carolina Panthers are one of the NFL teams that can take down any NFL team that doesn't take them seriously. The Carolina Panthers are playing to improve on their .500 record of last season and get back to the playoffs for the first time since 2005. The team made a large number of moves before the 2006 season, and looks for those new players to begin to make an impact this year. Draft pick DeAngelo Williams has the potential to be a running back the team can base much of its future offense around, and the veteran leadership of Vinny Testaverde and the youth of David Carr as quarterback options make for an unpredictable offense that can score points quickly. A Carolina Panthers game this season at "the Vault" in Charlotte shows what football is all about – a league underdog showing they can beat anyone if they want it badly enough!