Run, run and run some more. That will be the game plan for the Carolina Panthers this season. With the likes of Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams in the backfield, the team will rely heavily on the running game. The two talented running backs should take some pressure off second year quarterback Cam Newton.
The Panthers plan to run as long and as often as they can to set the tone in their games. Last season the team was third in the entire league in rushing with over 2,400 yards.
If running cannot get it done offensively then the Panthers will go to the arm of Cam Newton. He is a threat on the ground with his outstanding athletic skills, as well. The talented QB rushed for 700 yards last season and set an NFL record for rushing touchdowns for quarterbacks at 14. However, the Panthers want the QB to run less so he does not risk injury. If running 700 yards was not enough, the rookie quarterback last season threw for over 4,000 yards and 21 TD passes.
The defense should be stronger this season in its second season under the tutelage of Ron Rivera. Even though they won just six games, the team looks to build on that and could, if they stay healthy compete for a wildcard spot.
Odds makers have the Panthers over/under win at 7.5. The under on that is +115, while the over is -145. The team is a long shot to take the Super Bowl at +4000. Thus far, the team has been favored in six of its first 15 games and in two others is a pick ‘em.
It is not a long shot to consider the team winning 8 or even 9 games if they win the games they should and can upset a few other teams. I like the Panthers to have a 9-7 season, but miss out on the playoffs.
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