Now that we've most likely completed the majority of our pre-draft free agency moves we now have a better feel for what the team's priorities are going into the draft and ultimately the 2012 season. So I felt compelled to re-visit the Panthers schedule and see if my predictions for 2012 still hold. So here is the home and away schedule and my current prediction. I try to keep it real and my expectations low so I'm exstatic when we exceed it!
..take the poll after the jump:
That's 6-2 at home and trust me, putting a 'L' next to Denver is tough because I want to beat Fox and Peyton Manning. Now if that is a MNF game, I will change my mind. The iffy 'W' for me is the Falcons game. Until I see our run defense in action I can't say we will beat them.
This would make the road record 5-3 for an 11- 5 season. If the Eagles defense takes a step back we have a chance in that one but also our run defense better be able to contain Forte and let not him destroy us again like last time or we will lose that one. I think we see regression from the Chargers this year so not too worried about that one. Hmmm...11-5 seems awful optimistic for a 6-10 team with remaining question marks on defense.
I've got remaining 'wild cards' that could affect this prediction and a few other tidbits to consider before you take the fan poll after the jump...
Offseason wild cards that could impact this prediction:
- Drew Brees and Matt Forte - If either does not sign with their club it should affect the Panthers positively
- The Draft - If the Panthers don't land the impact players on defense they profess to be seeking it could be another rough season for the Panther defense
- Special Teams - The Panthers are obviously revamping their special teams and if that pays off then 11-5 looks more probable
- The Mannings - If Manning does not return to a high level our chances of beating Denver go up dramatically @since they no longer have Tebow@. Conversely I'm hoping a SB hangover keeps the Giants out of contention in 2012.
- OTAs - Will give us our first look at our returning injured starters. Anybody not at least running and performing drills should be a real concern as our key players were lost early and have had plenty of time to recover.