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Pro Football Focus: Colts Overrated, Panthers Underrated

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It's an insider post, so I'll post the Panthers part: http://insider.espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/8599169/nfl-power-rankings-audit-underrated-carolina-panthers-overrated-indianapolis-colts

Underrated -- Carolina Panthers (No. 29)

When the general manager has been fired midseason, you know things haven't gone well for a team. And the Panthers' 2-6 record is proof of that. But when you examine the Panthers a little more closely, you see a team that isn't as bad as its record. They nearly beat the Atlanta Falcons, Dallas Cowboys and Chicago Bears. In fact they were in control of all of those games and let them slip through their fingers.

Let's break down the team. The much-maligned Cam Newton has been disappointing in his sophomore season, and the offense hasn't clicked. They definitely have experienced some growing pains trying to open things up more. Last year they ran three-or-more wide receiver sets on 47.4 percent of plays; this year, that number has jumped to 59.7 percent. It hasn't quite worked and the rushing game has faltered.

But the defense is much better. Nowhere is this more evident than how they're getting to the passer. Charles Johnson is averaging a quarterback disruption on 18.3 percent of pass rushes, compared with 11.8 percent last year; Greg Hardy has moved from 9.7 percent in 2011 to 13.4 percent this year; and they've even gotten production out of rookie Frank Alexander, who has a pressure percentage of 11.7 percent. It has all been making life extremely uncomfortable for opposing quarterbacks.

Yes, they'll miss Chris Gamble and Jon Beason as the season goes on, but the development of Luke Kuechly is encouraging and Thomas Davis' comeback is generating positive returns on the field -- he has held up so far, playing 53.8 percent of the team's total snaps.

Nobody is going to confuse the Panthers with a possible playoff contender. But they've been competitive -- and then some -- against good teams and are coming off a big win against the Washington Redskins. For our money, that makes them a better team than the likes of the Oakland Raiders, Buffalo Bills and Tennessee Titans.

Have I mentioned I work with PFF? Go sign up for the Fantasy Gold and play with my player fantasy rankings toolkit ;)

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Posted · Report post

People who think we're one of the worst teams in the league obviously aren't looking past our record.

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People who think we're one of the worst teams in the league obviously aren't looking past our record.

and for good reason.

it's like saying you're proud of coming in second place.

reality is...second place is the first loser.

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Posted · Report post

You ain't first ... Your last!!!

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Posted · Report post

and for good reason.

it's like saying you're proud of coming in second place.

reality is...second place is the first loser.

I'm not really crying about lack of respect, nor am I proud of our 2-6 record.

I just wish more "analysts" would pay attention to the football that is being played.

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I'm not really crying about wanting respect nor am I proud of our 2-6 record.

I just wish more "analysts" would pay attention to the football that is being played.

they do.

fans need to realize that sometimes maybe their favorite team isn't as good as they think they are.

i'm glad carolina won yesterday, but reality is the defense is carrying this team. the offense looked good only because washington's defense is suspect...it's been going downhill the past few weeks.

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A couple weeks ago I was being a bad fan and wanted us to lose but seeing how good our defense has played, I regret losing to the Seahawks, Cowboys, and Bears. We could've been a 5-3 team and possibly a playoffs contender. But now with a record of 2-6 already, really no point of winning. Play the cards right and get a high pick.

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but reality is the defense is carrying this team.

ha ha.

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i'm glad carolina won yesterday, but reality is the defense is carrying this team.

the reality is it's a symbiotic relationship. we're looking good because we're playing well as a defense and well as an offense. both units are stepping up to account for weaknesses in the other. that's what a football team is supposed to do.

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Simply put, you are your W-L record, the rest does not matter...We lost 6 games. I hate moral victories. Having said that, If we beat Denver, I'm gonna claim that we'll run the table...Yea! I said it!

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When we win, they do not give us enough credit, and when we lose, they do not give us enough credit. I used to care what analysts said about the Panthers, now, I play video games or hang out with my daughter until 9:59, and I turn on the game. I could give two shits about what people have to say about the Carolina Panthers.

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