2017 Panthers Season Preview & NFL Futures Lines
Looking for 2017 Carolina Panthers predictions? We’ve got your back.After a thrilling 2015 season which saw the Carolina Panthers post a 15-win regular season, reach Super Bowl 50, and quarterback Cam Newton earn MVP honors, Carolina came crashing back down to earth in 2016.
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2018 Carolina Panthers Super Bowl Odds +2500
Panthers 2017 NFC Championship Odds Panthers +1400
Panthers 2017 NFC South Odds +250
Panthers Season Win Totals Lines – 9
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All the injuries that Newton’s dealt with in recent years all seemed to catch up to him in 2016, and the defensive core that established itself as one of the premier stop units in all of football got a wake up call in the absence of Josh Norman.
Even still, there’s a lot to like about this year’s Panthers team, which figures to be in for a bounce back campaign, and get right back into contention in the NFC.
2017 Carolina Panthers Predictions: Roster Changes
One of the things the Panthers’ front office has made a point of going out and doing is adding tall pass catchers for Cam Newton to throw to. It’s a big part of why they let Steve Smith go a few years back.
Their scout noticed that when Newton misses on a pass, he tends to miss high, so getting him some taller pass catchers was meant to alleviate that problem, and it worked so well he was the league’s MVP in 2015.
This offseason, the front office went in a different direction, adding running back Christian McCaffrey in the first round and wide receiver Curtis Samuel in the second – two undersized, shifty pass catching options who can do a lot after the catch.
While the team really lost the P.R. battle in the press this offseason as players and management went back and forth, leading to a change at the general manager position, one thing the fans must have been happy to see is the return of Julius Peppers, who’ll add some depth to the pass rush after tallying 7.5 sacks in limited snaps for the Packers last season.
2017 Carolina Panthers Predictions: Offense
The offense is going to look a lot different this season as they transition from a run-happy group with intermediate strikes to big-bodied receivers to one that’s going to have an almost West Coast type feel, with a lot of shorter passes to guys that can turn those short passes into bigger gains.
McCaffrey is an interesting prospect. If he can find the kind of success in the NFL that he did in college he has the chance to be a special player.
It’ll be all about how they use him, because he’s a guy who can line up in the backfield, in the slot, and out wide, not to mention running between the tackles or off the edge. And that’s not to say anything about his ability to return punts and kicks.
The big-bodied element at receiver is still there with the likes of Kelvin Benjamin, Devin Funchess, and Greg Olsen. It’ll be interesting to see what the target distribution is going to look like in this new system.
2017 Carolina Panthers Predictions: Defense
Sean McDermott is out as defensive coordinator, and the group went through the entire offseason without any sort of Josh Norman-level drama. First-year defensive coordinator Steve Wilks will now call the plays on defense.
He’s been with the franchise for the past six seasons, so he knows the scheme.
2017 Carolina Panthers Handicapping: (Strengths/Weaknesses)
The offense got more athletic in the offseason, but this remains a team reliant on its defense to win games.
They’re not going to be very successful if they’re trying to outscore opponents each week, so the defense will need to get back to its 2015 form, and they have the pieces in place to do that.
There’s been a lot of talk about limiting the number of designed runs for Cam Newton to limited the number of times he gets hit this season. If they’re asking him to be someone other than himself and not use his greatest physical attributes, that’s a problem.
2017 Carolina Panthers Prediction (Final Record): 10-6
This season screams bounce back for the Panthers.
The NFC South got better in the offseason and is going to be one of the tougher divisions in football in 2017, and the Panthers have a strong chance to finish at the head of that group come the end of the season.
More 2017 NFC South Season Previews & NFL Predictions
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