Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers are coming off of a great season in which they lost to the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl. It was a disappointing finish to an impressive all-around year and they aim to get back to have another chance at a title in 2016. That won’t be an easy task, but the Panthers still project to have a very tough defense and an offense capable of making big plays at any moment.
It is going to be a very entertaining season, although losing Josh Norman in free agency will be tough to replace. Norman was one of the biggest playmakers in the NFL last season, but the Panthers were not willing to pay the contract that he was demanding.
Looking ahead at the upcoming season, there are still plenty of reasons for Panthers fans to be excited even though Norman will not be returning.
Ron Rivera is still being given a very talented roster to work with. They will have to figure out who will fill the playmaking duties in the secondary, but there are a few different cornerbacks who can step up and help replace Norman.
All of that being said, what five bold predictions can be made for the Panthers heading into the 2016 NFL season?
Cam Newton Will Repeat as the NFL’s Most Valuable Player
After pulling out an MVP win last season, Cam Newton will not be content. He has been working hard all offseason long to come back even better than he was last year. Newton will come out firing in 2016 and will find a way to repeat as the Most Valuable Player in the NFL.
Kelvin Benjamin Comes Back to Record 1,200 Yards, 12 Touchdown Receptions
Last season was a huge disappointment for wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin, who went down with a torn ACL ahead of the season. He will bounce back with a massive season in 2016 and will show that he is a true budding star. Benjamin will record at least 1,200 receiving yards to go along with 12 touchdowns on the season.
Luke Kuechly Wins His Second Defensive Player of the Year Award
Keeping with the individual player awards, Luke Kuechly will come out and win his second Defensive Player of the Year Award. He won his first one back in 2013 and came through with a monstrous season once again for the Panthers last year. Kuechly is one of the best players on either side of the football in the league and he will step up even more this season with Norman no longer in Carolina.
Carolina Will Once Again Win the NFC South Division Title
Many won’t view this as a bold prediction, but it is a prediction nonetheless. Carolina is the best team in the NFC South division, even with the improvements that the Atlanta Falcons, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and New Orleans Saints made. It will be a much more competitive division this season, but the Panthers will once again come out on top.
The Carolina Panthers Break Through and Win Super Bowl 51
Putting the icing on top of the cake, the Panthers will get back to the Super Bowl and will finish off a win this time around. Last year was an angering loss for Carolina and they will not allow that to happen. Even with the loss of Norman, the Panthers will be one of the top teams in the NFL throughout the regular season and will make a huge run to a championship in the postseason.
Expect to see the Panthers lose a little on the defensive side of the football without Norman. Despite that fact, Newton will pick up the slack offensively. Carolina is going to be a powerhouse once again this season and it is going to be a very entertaining year to say the least.
Do you think that the Carolina Panthers will end up winning Super Bowl 51 when everything is said and done? Do you agree with these five bold predictions? Let us know in the comment box below!
[AP Photo/Mike McCarn]