Our NFC South Carolina Panthers Preview 2019 observes that this team has a shot at the postseason. This Carolina Panthers Preview 2019 notes that in three of the past five seasons, the Panthers have been in the playoffs. In 2014, the took the NFC South title, in 2015, they won the NFC, and in 2017, Carolina made it to the playoffs as a wildcard. Head coach Ron Rivera (74-60-1 Carolina & Overall, 3-4 Postseason) is back for his ninth season. Rivera has decided to take over the DC spot, while 33-year veteran coach Norv Turner is back for his second season as the Panthers’ OC. One important note, Rivera is on the hot seat and needs to win games early in the season. If not, he could be gone.
Carolina Panthers Preview 2019 – Team
So much of this team’s success revolves around Cam Newton (471 ATT, 320 COMP, 3395 YDs, 24 TDs, 13 INTs) and his health. Newton has had two surgeries on his right shoulder in four years. What does that mean for 2019 is hard to tell. The Panthers drafted West Virginia QB Will Grier this year. The last time they drafted a quarterback was 2011 and that was Newton. If Newton goes down due to injury, we don’t expect Grier to come in. But he could be the future of this team. One other note, our Carolina Panthers Preview 2019 observes that this team needs an upgrade on defense. They did little in the offseason to help themselves on that side of the ball.
Carolina – Offense
Last season, the Panthers put the NFL’s fourth-ranked rush attack on the turf. They averaged 133.5 YPG on the ground, while their 239.8 YPG in the air ranked 16th. Carolina averaged 373.2 YPG in total offense (10th). There was a bit more good news, the frontline allowed 32 sacks (T-6th) and the Panthers converted 42% of their third downs (9th). But, their 23.5 PPG earned them a ranking of 15th. They need to score more points.
The Panthers possess a few double-threats, including Newton who rushed for 488 yards last season, averaging 4.8 YPA and scoring four times. The other double-threat is running back Christian McCaffrey (219 ATT, 1098 YDs, 5.0 AVG, 7 TDs). In his second season, McCaffrey played 93% of the team’s offensive snaps. Along with his rushing stats, McCaffrey led the team in receptions with 107 for 867 yards and six scores. WR D.J. Moore (55 REC, 788 YDs, 14.3 AVG, 2 TDs) proved to be a versatile talent in his rookie season. Curtis Samuels (39 REC, 494 YDs, 12.7 AVG, 5 TDs) brings some fine skills, but needs to stay healthy. He’s missed 11 games in his first two seasons. Veteran TE Greg Olsen is back from an injury-shortened season. Former Bronco Matt Paradis takes over center on a line that is overall young and problematic.
Panthers – Defense
Our Carolina Panthers Preview 2019 sees this team’s defense as being mediocre at best. Their 18th-ranked pass D (240.4 YPG) and 12th-ranked rush D (112.8 YPG) meant this team was 15th in total yards allowed (353.2 YPG). The 23.9 PPG they allowed (19th) meant their PF/PA differential was -0.4. The defense snared just 13 INTs (15th) and made merely 35 sacks (27th).
The D-line includes veteran end Mario Addison (9 SCKs) and 2019’s 16th draft pick overall DE Brian Burns. Veteran DE Bruce Irvin will rotate in to relieve Burns and stabilize the line. Although Carolina possesses some fine ends, their tackles have to step up. MLB Luke Kuechly, who led the Panthers with 156 tackles last season, is an anchor for the D. OLB Shaq Thompson, who was third in sacks with 3.5 and second in tackles with 87. The LB unit is in fine shape, deep, and should be productive. Last season, corner Donte Jackson, one of the most exciting young defensive players in the NFL, led the team with four picks. Also at corner, James Bradberry showed a lot of promise last season, while solid safety Eric Reid returns after signing a three-year deal.
Veteran and reliable long snapper J.J. Jansen returns. PK Graham Gano missed last three games of 2018 season, and required leg surgery. He starts the season on injured reserve, which means rookie Joey Slye (493rd Pick) will open the season as the Panther kicker. After last season, punter Michael Palardy earned a three-year deal. Punts and kicks will be handled by first-year player Reggie Bonnafon.
Carolina Panthers Preview 2019 – Prediction
Our Carolina Panthers Preview 2019 observes that this team has a kind schedule, which should help them secure a winning mark. Still, the Panthers have to play two against the Saints and Falcons. Plus, they open at home against the Rams. Still, Carolina plays Arizona, Washington, San Francisco, Indianapolis, and Jacksonville. Those matchups should equal five wins for this team. We expect a winning season from these Panthers.
- Quarterbacks – 8.1
- Running Backs – 8.4
- Receivers – 7.3
- Offensive Linemen – 6.0
- Defensive Linemen – 7.1
- Linebackers – 8.2
- Secondary – 7.4
- Special Teams – 8.2
- Coaching – 8.1
NFC South Carolina Panthers Preview 2019 – Projection
Carolina Panthers Second in NFC South