Hello Panther Nation its DT3428 here to give you my take on what i predict will be not only the 2010 regular season record for the Panthers but also the records for the rest of the division. I am going to first breakdown each team in the division, give an essential question and a 2010 record prediction. I hope you enjoy!
Last season the Bucswere the not only the divisions worst team but also one of the leagues worst teams with a 3-13 record. This season the Bucs main concern is the defense which was ranked 27thin the league last season. The main concern on defense is the rush defense. Last season Tampa Bay was ranked dead last in the league in rushing yards allowed with a whopping 158.3 yards rushing allowed a game. Because of that they went in selected Alabama Defensive Tackle Gerald McCoyin this years draft. Many people believe that Gerald McCoy will help the struggling rush defense of Tampa Bay, because with the run heavy offenses of Carolina and Atlanta matched up against them 2 a year each the Bucs are going to need all the help the can get. But still McCoy is just a rookie so don't expect to much out of him this season. Tampa Bay on the offensive side of the ball don't fair much better than the defense. They are ranked 24th overall in the league andare ranked in the bottom half of the league in both passing andrushing yards a game. But even with that said expect to see a better offensive unit in from the Bucsthis year. Even with the lose of Antonio Bryant 2nd year QB Josh Freeman will still have decent targets in rookie WR Arrelious Benn and TE Kellen Winslow. RB Cadillac Williams should have receive alot more carries this year and expect the running game to be a little bit better than last year. But still the Bucs have to many questions on Defense and Offense to even be considered a wildcard team.
Essential Question? Can Tampa Bay improve there lack luster Run Defense this year?
2010 Record Prediction: 4-12
New Orleans Saints
We have know that the Saints are the defending Superbowl champions but the question is was last year just a lucky year for them or will the return to there pre-2009 New Orlean Aints. Since the Saints are the defending superbowl champs i will start off with the positives. Last year the Saints had the one of the feared offenses in the league coming at 4th overall mainly due to Drew Breesand the passing game. Expect the same in 2010 has Drew Breescomes in 2010 with basically the same offense as last year. Unless the Madden Curse gets him and he (God Forbid) for New Orleans get injured and is out for the year. If this scenerio occurs or his performance drops off, which history says it will then be a very sad year for New Orleans because if the Curse gets him in the worse way then the Saints are easily one of the worst teams in the league. But until that happens expect to see the Drew Brees carry the Saints again in 2010 on offense. Ok enough about Breesnow its time to move on to the running game of New Orleans. The Saints come into 2010 with a very average if not below average rushing attack. Pierre Thomasthere #1 Runningback is overrated and is an average NFL back at this point in his career and there 2nd back former USC Heisman Winner Reggie Bush is overrated also and i think it is safe to call him a bust at this point in his career although he is potienally dangerous in the passing and rush return game, but he was drafted to play runningback and he his a bust at runningback. On Defense the Saints also are a very average group. Even though they did manage to get alot of turnovers in 2009 alotof them came through Safety Darren Sharper who is not currently with the team. Expect to see the same offseason has last years but the question is can the defense keep up.
Essential Question: Can the Saints Defense keep the Saints Super Contenders in 2010
2010 record prediction: 8-8
Alot of NFL.com and ESPN analysts have the Falcons winning the division this year. It seems like alot of people have hopped on the 3rd year QB Matt Ryan train. Matt Ryan at this point in his career has been good at times but he has never been great. This year he has decent options at WR with Michael Jenkins and Roddy White. Roddy White a Pro Bowl Receiver should still have a decent year. Ryan also has All Pro TightEnd Tony Gonzales returning has a target this year and he will provide a threat down the middle of the field that Coach Mike Smith will be looking to exploit in 2010. Expect Ryan to have his best season of his career even though his numbers probably won't reach elite status this year. Pro Bowl RB Michael Turner returns this year and has slimmed down a bit looking to have another 1000 yard season. Withthat said the Falcons should have a pretty good offense this year with a good mix of run and pass. Now to the Defense.... The Falcons don't really have anything special on defense this year and as of right now i can't really name anyone off the top of my head that really standsout in their unit. They are pretty much average at every position group of defense. Last year they ranked 21st in the league in Total yards allowed and I believe thats going to be pretty much the same case for them in 2010.
Essential Question: Will Matt Ryan perform well enough to elevate the Falcons to Superbowl Contender?
2010 Record Prediction: 9-7
Last but not least I move on to the Carolina Panthers! But before I start previewing and predicting anything I just want to get one thing off my chest and address the Panther haters out there. How in Gods green earth does releasing an old average interception vending machine that was past his prime make the Panthers a worse team? Also how does letting a Defensive End that took plays off and didnt show up for Big Games and some old washed up Defensive Tackles make a defense bad. Of course if you don't know who or what i am talking about then i am going to tell you. I am talking about Julius Peppersand Jake Delhomme. I would like to avoid an arguement but right now i am going to say what I have to say. Alot of People outside Panther Nation thinks that our defensive pass rush is going to suffer because we lost Peppers. Honestly no disrespect toward him or Delhomme I feel like Peppers took alot of plays off and didn't show up for the games that mattered. I don't know if the stats prove this but when every we were in a Big Game or needed a crucially stop i don't recall one time this season where he made that play. To me it seems like a waits to we play irrelevant teams like the Redskins or the Buccaneers to decide he wants to play. But anyways I feel like with our combination of Defensive End Pass Rushers, Everette Brown, Charles Johnson, Eric Norwood, and Greg Hardy who I believe is the steal of this draft we can make up and overcome the production or lack there of that Julius Peppers brought to the Panthers. As for questions at the DTposition i feel like they are overrated. As long as we have a Big 300+ Plus pound DT that can plug the hole we will be fine. Our Secondary is still going to be a solid unit like they were last year as they ranked 4 in the league in Passing Yards allowed in 2009. At the linebacker position I am kind of confused anddon't understand why we are doing so much shifting. I know Thomas Davis got hurt but isn't that why we have backups and why we traded for Jamar Williams? I mean Jon Beason performed at an All Pro level at Middle Linebacker for the past 3 years. I mean why change something that works. I know Fox wants a athletic guy at WILL but i would rather have Connor at Strong and James Anderson and Jamar Williams at Weak. But i believe in the coaching staff and thats why i am not a coach. On to Offense Now. With the release of Jake Delhomme this off season feel like our offense instantly got better. I mean everyone saw how good we looked with Moore undercenter. I mean we were elevated to Superbowl contender. We beat the NFC runner up the Vikings with ease and Destroyed the Giants. I got to the NFC championship with am average Game Manager QB under center at one point so imagine if Moore or Clausen who ever is going to be starting can be a little better than just a Game Manager. I mean think about it we are a superbowl team with better than average QB under center. It's an exciting thing to thinkabout and I wonder can Moore or Clausen Perform at that level andif they can which i am hoping they can we are easily the best team in the NFC. The Panthers have a really young receiving corps withSteve Smith being the only veteran. Lafell, Edwards and Jarrett look to make an impact and expect who ever is starting QB to get these guys the ball. OH Yeah of course i can't forget our Leagues best rushing tandem DeAngelo Williamsand Jonathan Stewart. I predict another 1000 yard rushing season from Williams and a 800-1000 yard season for Stewart.
Essential Question: How well can the Panthers starting QB perfrom in 2010?
2010 Record Prediction: 11-5
Well that concludes my preview and Regular Season Record Predictions for 2010, LOL i know my Panther analysis was a little longer than the others but HEY, I got alotto say about my team. Please comment and share your thoughts and stick around. I will soon be posting an article about Steve Smith's Hall of Fame chances.