My biggest reason is that opposite of our divisional counterparts we are trending up. ATL, NO are have reached their apex and IMO are beginning the decent.
TB is a big if but i still dont think they mesh well enough with that weirdo head coach they have.
Any way enough about them,
Our team is filled with talent in all of the right positions, QB, DL, RB, LB. Not only are we talented in those areas but we are scary good in those areas.
It would be easy to get trapped into what we are good at but im not gonna.
The offensive line is what most people consider the focal point of our success this year. I too am one of those people. If healthy this offensive line has the necessary talent and drive to get it done. We have road grading guards(assuming Kug) and intelligent tackles. Now throw in a perennial Pro Bowl center and all of a sudden the O-line doesn't seem so shoddy.
The most discussed lineman we have has and continues to be Jordan Gross. Now we all love his podcast but his age is less than desirable at his position. My contrast to this is that for the last 2 years Jordan has been asked to do something hes never done. He has been in charge of protecting a mobile QB in both years and had to deal with a DII rookie all of last year standing beside him. Not trying to make excuses but his job is hard enough already and the FO didn't help him very much.
Point is, with the new/old OC in Shula we will return to a scheme that fits Jordan and his line-mates very well. O-line is a go!
Now the other lynch-pin in our success, we at the huddle have decided that it is the Secondary. Some see this as a glaring weakness to be feared as Brady, Brees, Ryan and others lick their chops for this tasty match up this upcoming season. I too have worried about this group of castoffs late rounders and vets. If our D-line was still as in bad of a shape as it was last year I would totally abandon ship and head for the nearest bar to drink away my sorrows. Our d-line is not that bad, in fact they will be very good.
With that said our secondary has a good mix of youthful exuberance, veteran savvy and guys that want to prove they belong. That's a dangerous combo when the QB doesn't even have time to set his feet.
The season may turnout to be considered a failure or we could march right on into the playoffs with a bye. This doesn't change that awesome chance we as Panther's fans have to cherish this fleeting moment of excitement and angst.
Your question was why should we think we can win more than 7 games, my question is why cant we?