I'm not buying into the Bucs, Saints, and Falcons being all world all of a sudden like all the taking heads are predicting. I'm going to have to see it before I believe it.
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I don't buy the Falcons being any good, still weak lines on both sides of the ball, they are very beatable.
I don't buy the Saints progressing as much as their predicted, there is now more of a book on the Rob Ryan defense, let me see if they maintain this level of play. They'll be good, but not unstoppable. Also, I think this is where Brees will finally start to show some of his age, he will have a decline at some point and 35-36 is where the decline really starts.
The Bucs are the team I do have some fear of. They now have a competent coach and great pieces around the team. If Josh McCown is decent, they will be pretty good.
All this said, I like the way the panthers line up a lot, Barring injury, I think we can win the division again. I think defensively we'll be as good if not better with another year under our belt. I think Cason/White/Godfrey/Benwikere is as good as Florence/White/Midget. As a safety, I think Mitchell is good, but he was also aided alot by the dominance imposed by our front 7. Thomas Decoud, Robert Lester, and (ugh...) Roman Harper will be serviceable. On offense, we can only go up. I'm not the kind of person that thinks you get better by doing the same thing, and this applies here. Our receiving options were bad, and we have a new crop to try out, and I think they will be an improvement over last years crop. O-line is the biggest concern on the entire team. They will be the difference in the success of the team, but then again, the script on Seattle last year was "Strong defense, weak receiving options, bad O-line" and we know how that story played out.