The 2017 NFL season is right around the corner, and the Carolina Panthers are hoping to get back to being a Super Bowl contender. After finishing the 2016 season with a 6-10 record, the Panthers are embarrassed and have a chip on their shoulder to prove that they can still play at an elite level.
Looking ahead at the upcoming season, the NFC only has a few teams that are highly favored over the rest of the field. Those teams are expected to be the Dallas Cowboys, Atlanta Falcons, and Green Bay Packers, with the New York Giants receiving quite a bit of hype as well. Carolina may not look as good on paper, but they have the makeup of a team that could make some noise.
Cam Newton and the Panthers’ offense is expected to be improved this season, especially with rookie running back Christian McCaffrey adding a major spark. Defensively, the Panthers are not as dominant as they once were, but they still have the capability of being a major playmaking defense.
Needless to say, the NFC South won’t be an easy division. Atlanta is among the NFL’s elite, while the Tampa Bay Buccaneers improved in a big way this offseason as well. Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints may not be viewed as a serious contender, but they will not be an easy win either.
All of that being said, what bold prediction can be made for the Carolina Panthers heading into the 2017 NFL season?
Christian McCaffrey Will Win Offensive Rookie of the Year
There are very few playmakers in the league better than McCaffrey. He will have an immediate impact within the offense and could see some action on special teams as well. McCaffrey will turn in a big rookie season and will end up winning the Offensive Rookie of the Year award.
Cam Newton Is in the MVP Conversation
He may not be receiving the hype that he had a couple years back, but Cam Newton is still one of the best playmaking quarterbacks in the league. Newton will get back on track this season and will earn his way into the MVP conversation.
Carolina Shocks the NFC South for the Title
While the vast majority of the NFL fan base and media believe that Atlanta will win the NFC South, the Panthers have other plans. They may not be a hyped-up team anymore, but they still have a lot of talent on their roster. Carolina will shock the rest of their division and regain the title.
The Panthers Make it to the NFC Championship Game
Making it to the NFC Championship Game this season won’t be easy for any team. Carolina will ride the momentum from their division title to the conference championship game and will have a chance to make it back to another Super Bowl.
Do you think the Carolina Panthers will win the NFC South division? If not, what are you expecting from them this season? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below!
[Featured Image by Mike McCarn/AP Images]