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9-7 At Worst

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#1 Argus Plexus

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 12:11 PM

Week 1 CAR @ TB
Tampa Bay has had an outstanding offseason so far. I can easily see this becoming a shootout. Regardless of that I can also easily see Chris Gamble handling V-Jax like the pro he is. Gamble has established himself (In the opinions of anyone throughout the league that knows what they're talking about) as a premier shutdown corner and an excellent playmaker who can hold his own with the best Receivers in the League.

This game is going to be TOUGH and there will be at least one fight. Both teams are going to be hungry for a win to start the season but I see, surprisingly, our epic running game being our saving grace in this shootout. I believe at least two rushing touchdowns, neither by Cam, will be scored in the first half. This will be a tough game but I believe the Panthers pull out the win. 1-0.

Week 2 NO** @ CAR
This game will be one that the Saints** wish they could forget. Memories of the second Tampa Bay game last season will come to mind by halftime. The Saints**, Drew Brees or no Drew Brees, will struggle in this game. They have lost some talent on offense (But lets be honest here, as long as Drew Brees is in New Orleans**, they will never be hurting on Offense. He could make AE look like Victor Cruz if he wanted to.), but they will get destroyed on Defense by Cam Newton, seeing that their D# will be held together with paper clips and crazy glue. A shootout that the Panthers will win to go 2-0.

Week 3 NYG @ CAR
The Champs will come into town hot after destroying Dallas and Tampa Bay. PANTHERS IN PRIMETIME AT LAST. That will only make this game harder. This game will be tough, they will be bringing the house to get after Cam almost every down. But Cam, a year under his belt and a year wiser, will make them pay with several big plays down the field. Eli will attempt a comeback in the fourth quarter and it will come down to who can score touchdowns faster. This game really could go either way depending on whether or not the Panthers can defend the run. If the Panthers can contain Bradshaw and his new understudy, Wilson, they just might be able to win this if Mare can manage to not shank it. I'm going to call this a surprise win for the Panthers, but it could go either way. One hungry team with a lot to prove and the tools to prove it with, and a proven Championship team trying to hold onto it's reputation. 3-0.

Week 4 CAR @ ATL
Atlanta has picked up Asante Samuel, but I don't see him making too much of an impact to be honest. He is aging and while he is a good proven corner, I don't see him putting in too much effort on a team that can never seem to make it over the hump. The Falcons, as usual, will bring the house in an attempt to get a hold of Cam, but again the year wiser Cam will make them pay down the field. I see Joe Adams making his first TD off a punt return by now, and this board will puke rainbows for days about it. The Falcons will put up a good fight, but I believe the Panthers will contain Turner far better than they have in the past and I don't think Matt Ryan has the arm to really make the Panthers pay down the field. With a win over the better than average Falcons and 3-4 wins under their belt, buzz will begin around the league about the Panthers. But with fame comes nay-sayers and this board will begin its typical "The media hates us" bitching. Win for the Panthers here, 4-0.

Week 5 SEA @ CAR
Matt Flynn is a good QB but I believe he is simply another Matt Moore who happened to have a really good game through a simplified offensive scheme and took advantage of the fact that nobody knew who he was. Chris Gamble will eat him for lunch and if the Panthers can contain Lynch, this is an easy win. 5-0.

Week 6 Bye Week
I am calling the Panthers to be 5-0 by the Bye Week cause I'm a homer. Now they are more likely to be 4-1, at the VERY WORST 3-2 if they suffer a meltdown in ATL (Which I don't see happening). Either way there will be buzz around the league about the Panthers by now, and we will all be creaming ourselves with excitement. I don't forsee any major injuries, just a few nicks and bangs, but you really never know. Nobody that isn't replaceable anyways. Hope not. I hate that our bye week is this early, it means we have to go the rest of the season week to week, but I think the guys can take it.

Week 7 DAL @ CAR
Dallas might be in a state of ebb and flow but they are not complete pushovers, so don't sleep on them. Claiborne will make their secondary just that much better, but I believe Cam can beat them with his feet enough to open up things in the passing game. Dallas's run game is a shadow of what it once was but Murray and Jones are still a force to be reckoned with. If we can contain their run game and get after Tony Romo on a regular basis and put him on the turf, this game is in the bag. 6-0

Week 8 CAR @ CHI
Here at Chicago, the Panthers meet a ridiculous STs unit and a strong pass rush. Chicago will bring the house often, but they will not be dumb about it like so many other teams. They will contain our running game better than any of the other teams we have faced thus far, but I see Cam really making them pay with the passing game. The Bears will get a good running game established and a less than stellar pass game. I want to say this will be a win for us but I believe that despite our improvements on D# and STs, that is where we will lose. I believe the Bears will pull this win out despite a great effort by Cam and the Offense. 6-1.

Week 9 CAR @ WAS
The Cam v. RG3 theme will be rampant for the entire week before this game and we will all be pulling our hair out in frustration at every talking head's article making this same fu*king comparison. During this game, however, we shall see who is the Man and who is the Boy. RG3 will have a good time tossing them over Captain's head but I really can't see the Foreskins beating the Panthers, not yet. They're just not there yet. 7-1.

Week 10 DEN @ CAR
By this time Manning will have long ago gotten his rhythm. He will DESTROY our D#. They will bring a pass rush to not much avail, this game will be an Offensive showdown with both QBs entering into a shootout from the first quarter on. Their rushing offense will be almost nonexistent but they won't need it. Cam will try his damndest to keep up and he will almost make it, but I believe Peyton shows the kid how it's done and takes the win this week. 7-2.

Week 11 TB @ CAR
As the 5-4 Buccaneers race the 5-4 Falcons for second in the NFCS, the Panthers will face a hungry, angry Tampa Bay again. This game will be tough, again, and there will be more fights and personal fouls. They will, stupidly, bring the house to try and get a hand on Cam and he will make them pay. This, unlike last season, will be a close game down to the last minute and could come down to (O NOEZ) Mare kicking a FG. Possible OT game, very exciting prospect. Would be nice to see how Cam reacts under pressure like that. I believe the Playoff bound Panthers eek out a win to go to 8-2.

Week 12 CAR @ PHI
PRIMETIME AGAIN, FINALLY! We are historically bad against both Philadelphia AND Vick so the stats are already against the Panthers. I believe the Panthers, top 5 offense, will be strong on offense and make plays. However we will get a taste of our own medicine (Mobile QB with an arm) from Vick. I believe he will be healthy for this game and he will make us pay with his feet and his arm. Vick is no scrub, do not sleep on him. The stout Philly Defense coupled with Vick gashing our D# on the ground and through the air, I don't believe the Panthers will be able to keep up. We will lose a close one to go 8-3.

Week 13 CAR @ KC
Kansas City is an enigma. They're really good at times and the rest of the time they're terrible. I believe this will be one if their worst games since we kicked their ass last time. Possible shut out potential. Again. Only this time we will throw all over them rather than gash them. The offense will put up 40+ points on these fools and the D# and STs will have a field day. Great day to be a Panther, but it's right back to it afterwards for the players. 9-3.

Week 14 ATL @ CAR
The Falcons, 6-6 and fighting the resurgent 6-6 New Orleans** for second place in the NFCS, will come into Carolina hungry. No, we won't feed them Bojangles, I think that advertisment ship has sailed. This game will be much like the first encounter. Pass rush will be a big factor. But to be honest Offense will be the star of this game. This could go either way really but I'm calling that we split with Atlanta. They're not pushovers, regardless of whether or not I believe we are better than them. This game could go either way but I'm calling a split so 9-4.

Week 15 CAR @ SD
RR will be excited and the team will be pumped to be representing him in his return to San Diego. I see this being a good game to watch, lots of exciting plays and good quarterbacking from both sides. I see the Panthers winning this one for Rivera, but you never know when the Chargers are going to decide they want to play well. I'm calling a win for Rivera and the Panthers that will bump them up to 10-4. W00T WE HAVE A DOUBLE DIGIT WIN RECORD FINALLY!

Week 16 OAK @ CAR
Come on. 11-4.

Week 17 CAR @ NO**
The 8-7 Saints**, now in second in the NFCS after regaining some suspended players and regaining their rhythm, come in to face the Panther's JV squad. This will be a loss, but a meaningless one. I probably won't even bother watching it. 11-5 to end the Regular Season.

End Result
The Panthers, at worst, will be 9-7 and headed for a wildcard spot. Bank on it. I believe that they could be as good as 12-4 though that is a reach seeing who all we end up facing on our schedule. I believe they will be 10-6 or 11-5 and sitting atop the NFCS by the end of the season and firmly into the Playoffs. Surprises do happen and they can be good or bad but no matter what the Panthers will NOT have a losing season this season and they WILL be in the Playoffs come January. Bank on it.

Agree? Share your own analysis.

#2 DeAngelo's #1 Fan(CRA)

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 12:27 PM

I never predict anything until preseason. A lot of time to add good vets in FA and lose people to injury.

#3 KittyLover



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Posted 30 April 2012 - 12:27 PM

If we do not win the division and go on to win the SB I am calling it a disappointment. Some may call this unrealistic but that is what the goal is and should be. We have the talent and are quickly adopting that mindset.
Nice breakdown. I am stoked for the start of the season.

#4 megadeth078


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Posted 30 April 2012 - 12:29 PM

You do realize that predictions at this point in time ignore any progress or additions our opponents have made after last season while only considering our own? Why can we improve and other teams can't?

I bet you can't even tell us how TB's depth chart has changed since last season.

#5 Seltzer


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Posted 30 April 2012 - 12:30 PM

I am expecting improvement over last year, and I certainly hope the Panthers are in contention for the playoffs, but I think 9-7 is around the best record I can see now.

The offense should be great again this year with the additions (Tolbert, Silatolu, Gettis, etc.) and the ST should be an upgrade.

The defense (even with what I think is a solid draft) is still a major question mark considering the high powered offenses we face. I think we will have a better idea by the end of training camp, but right now there is no tangible evidence the defense is going to be markedly better.

Of course, the prospects of getting Ron Edwards back, McClain and Fua being in year 2, Beason/Davis coming back along with Kuechly, Brandon Hogan claiming a starting job, and overall improvement having a full offseason under Rivera/McDermitt's direction seem promising, it still remains to be seen.

The first 4 weeks of the season (TB, NO, NYG, and ATL) will show a lot about where this team is headed this year. Starting 2-0 is possible, and starting at least 2-2 is imperative if this will be a playoff team.

Time will tell, and I'm optimistic. 11-5 is a possibility, but so is 6-10 again. Such is the unpredictable nature of the NFL.

#6 BeasonBeastingBacks


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Posted 30 April 2012 - 12:33 PM

I think we end up 9-7, I could also see 10-6
sweeping the Bucs and splitting with Saints*/Falcons, possibly sweeping the Saints* depending on Drew Brees and his contract
Split the NFC East with wins against the Skins and Dallas
Win against Seattle
Lose to Chicago
Split with AFC West, beating Oakland and San Diego

#7 Seltzer


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Posted 30 April 2012 - 12:34 PM

I just don't want to overbelieve. I'm the guy who justified in my mind that we could win 10 games in 2010 despite Matt Moore being our #1 going into the season, gutting the roster, Fox's last year, etc.

I know it takes a "special" situation to create trainwrecks on that level, but unfortunately with the history of this frnachise every year where expectations were exceeded is followed by a season of disappointment.

Last year, despite the 6-10 record, was the most fun I had watching the Panthers since 2008. Just trying to remain even keel in my expectations for the season.

#8 Argus Plexus

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 12:37 PM

I just don't want to overbelieve. I'm the guy who justified in my mind that we could win 10 games in 2010 despite Matt Moore being our #1 going into the season, gutting the roster, Fox's last year, etc.

I know it takes a "special" situation to create trainwrecks on that level, but unfortunately with the history of this frnachise every year where expectations were exceeded is followed by a season of disappointment.

Last year, despite the 6-10 record, was the most fun I had watching the Panthers since 2008. Just trying to remain even keel in my expectations for the season.

That was an utter disaster and I don't think we'll see anything like it in the Panthers organization for a very long time. John Fox was a classless son of a bitch anyways, he didn't care about that season. He tossed it in the can and walked away.

#9 Growl



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Posted 30 April 2012 - 12:39 PM

We were historically bad against Philadelphia because John Fox didn't understand basic concepts such as 'pass-first offenses' or 'defenses that blitzed the Quarterback'

It wasn't just some magical voo-doo incantantion. We're a completely different team now.

#10 csx


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Posted 30 April 2012 - 12:41 PM

It's April

#11 Gallagher


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Posted 30 April 2012 - 12:44 PM

I don't think we should sleep on Seattle or Oakland. Both have the potential to beat us if we give up silly turnovers. Otherwise, double digits wins are within reach.

#12 Snake


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Posted 30 April 2012 - 12:47 PM

7-9 at worst and 10-6 at best. Our team still has a lot of holes and we only solved a few this year.

#13 CarolinaNCSU


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Posted 30 April 2012 - 12:48 PM

Anywhere from 8-8 to 10-6. Just limp into the playoffs and I'll be ecstatic.

#14 CheeseCP


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Posted 30 April 2012 - 12:56 PM

What's all this *IF* Drew Brees is playing. Does anyone really believe that he isn't going to get what he's asking for? Or that he would actually sit out the season if he didn't? That said... bring 'em on... we'll still destroy them.

#15 Chaos



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Posted 30 April 2012 - 01:22 PM

Super Bowl.

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