Change my mind: The Panthers will go 9-7

- This isn't going to be popular. I know that. I'm also already over it, so here we go. 

The Panthers will go 9-7. 

I know what you're thinking. How could this guy think the Panthers area a middle of the pack team? How could he think with all these weapons Cam Newton has that they will only get nine wins? There are a few factors that went into my decision. One of which is obvious: Carolina plays in one of the most stacked divisions in the NFL.

Atlanta and New Orleans are top tier teams. The Falcons are off to a slow start, but will find their groove. The Saints are known for getting off on the wrong foot, but finishing strong every season. (Fun fact, the Saints haven't won an opening game since 2013) Here's the wildcard in the equation: The Buccaneers are better than you think. Yes, they have a back-up in at quarterback, but it's going to be more exciting to se how Mike Evans, Cameron Brate and Peyton Barber pick up the slack on the field. My prediction is that they finally show that their offensive line can make room for their backs. 

With all that said, I think the NFC South teams split a lot of games and the Panthers come out on the short end of some. The Panthers will need more time to gel under Norv Turner's new offense along with time to heal some big game names on the offensive line who have gone down this early season. 

Here's how I think it shakes out:

  • Win vs Cowboys 
  • Loss at Falcons
  • Win at Bengals
  • Loss vs Giants 
  • Win vs Redskins
  • Loss vs Eagles
  • Loss vs Ravens
  • Win vs Bucs 
  • Loss at Steelers
  • Win at Lions
  • Loss at Bucks
  • Wins at Browns
  • Win vs Saints 
  • Win vs Falcons
  • Loss at Saints 

Other factors going into this is Cam's health. If he plays all 16 games, then the win total goes up. Whichever NFC South team can steal both games a division opponent will have the edge. Overall I think the Saints are just too good of a team not to win. Think I'm wrong? Tell me. @TheEpicAudi on Twitter. 

 

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