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Midseason Review


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Halfway thru the season, and the Panthers are sitting at at 6-2, good for 2nd place in the NFC South behind NO Saints. We have the #1 wild card at the moment.

How good do you think the Panthers are? Despite the record, I'm unsure how good they really are. 2 losses are to the Falcons and Redskins. Needed a miracle FG from Gano to beat the Giants. Had to rally from 17-0 to beat the Eagles, which was still a great win. 

Remaining schedule, which I think is pretty tough:

@ Steelers

@ Detroit


@ Bucs

@ Browns 




See wins over the Browns, Bucs, and Lions to get at least 9 wins. Need at least 1 more win, maybe 2 to lock down a wild card spot. I think the offense is starting to take off, and hopefully the defense can bounce back too. Still expect a playoff appearance.

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Meh, we had to lose at some point.  I don't hold it against them too much for two road losses against two potential playoff teams (Falcons are quietly back to 4-4) considering they had a chance to win the game at the end in both games.  Just came up short.  Giants game was disappointing too but again, things happen - they had already played the Saints fairly close until Kamara broke it away.

What I'm most impressed about this team, and it kind of makes the difference between this year and years past, is that I never feel like we're out of the game.  It used to be that double-digit deficits were damn near insurmountable for us, but we've found ways to drive down the field in multiple games this season and put ourselves in position to win it.  That is going to come in handy for us if we make the postseason, which I'm certain we will.

My opinion is clouded because even before the season, I felt strongly about this Panthers team.  There is something special about them.  This is potentially going to be the last year of the careers of Davis (50/50), Olsen (seems likely given his foot issues and guaranteed future in announcing), Peppers (damn near guaranteed), and Kalil (he said it was his last year, but maybe he changes his mind).  Cam Newton at his peak has always been nearly indefensible and Turner has eliminated the lows of his game.  I've always had faith in the defense.  Most offensive weapons I can remember us having since at least 2011.  I genuinely felt this team could be as good as any going into the season and at the midway point, I'm glad to have not been disappointed.  We're averaging 30 PPG in our last 6 games and the defense has gotten better and better - held the Eagles to 17, held the Redskins to 23 despite self-inflicted turnovers, and basically throttled the Ravens/Bucs until we took our foot off the gas. Rams and Saints are considered the top two teams for good reason, but I think we can go toe-to-toe with them.  I'd give an A to our season so far.

Second half of the season is gonna be rough.  Like you said, a lot of tough games.  I feel good about splitting with the Falcons this year, but the Saints have always given Rivera's defense problems.  We've got to find a way to win one of those games to give us a chance at taking the division which is going to be key.  We're on a 10 game home win streak and the Bank is as loud as I've ever heard it since watching the Panthers.  #1 seed might be out of our hands given the Rams are 8-1 (but Rams haven't had a bye week and play Seahawks and Chiefs next, so who knows), but even the #2 seed would be a great thing for us.

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