As the Carolina Panthers get set to begin the 2018 NFL season, they are once again considered contenders in the NFC. Cam Newton and company are hoping to put together a similar regular season to last year where they went 11-5 and won the NFC South. Unfortunately, the rest of the NFC South improved this offseason.
New Orleans is expected to be the best team in the division by many, although the Panthers are an evenly talented team. Atlanta is hoping to figure their offensive issues from last season out. Tampa Bay, on the other hand, has an extremely talented roster that simply has not been able to live up to their full potential.
While the division isn’t going to be easy to win, the Panthers are confident that they are the best team. They have a dangerous offense, but their defense is capable of winning them championships. Carolina will need that defense to step up against three offenses capable of exploding any given week.
If the Panthers are going to compete for a Super Bowl appearance this season, they will need to answer a few questions that are left. All of that being said, which three burning questions must the Panthers answer during NFL training camp this season?
Can Christian McCaffrey Become an Every-Down Back?
Christian McCaffrey showed flashes of star playmaking potential last season for the Panthers, but he did not look like a player ready to be an every-down back. Jonathan Stewart was released this offseason, as ESPN reported, which leaves the Panthers with McCaffrey as their likely starter. Carolina will need McCaffrey to step up this season in order to win the NFC South.
Do the Panthers Have Enough Talent at Wide Receiver?
Another issue for the Panthers could be whether the wide receiver position is stocked with enough talent. Devin Funchess, Torrey Smith, and rookie D.J. Moore are expected to be the top three receivers on the roster. All three players are capable of making plays, but there have been consistency issues with Funchess and Smith and depending on a rookie is a dangerous thing to do.
Will Cam Newton Get Back to Elite Form?
Last season was a rough year for Newton, to say the least. He ended up completing 59.1 percent of his passes for 3,302 yards, 22 touchdowns, and 16 interceptions. Carolina needs him to cut down the turnovers while increasing his weekly production.
Expect to see the Panthers answer all three of these questions and turn them into strengths. McCaffrey is a very talented back and has been working hard all offseason to take the next step, while Moore and the receivers will step up. Due to the first two questions being answered, Newton will return to star form.