Now, I want to get this out first: I think we can make the playoffs and I am only trying to put out the possibilities that would prevent us from doing so, because they are not talked about much here and I'd like to discuss them.
#1. What if our guys can't stay healthy? Beason's injury is not an easy injury, it is a bad one. He will not be 100%, so what if he gets re-aggravates the injury? Than we lose our all-pro MLB. Luke Kuechly than comes in to play MLB, which means more snaps for Thomas Davis, which means more chances of him getting hurt, which would surprise no one. Than we lose our start WLB as well. Who will our starting linebackers be? James Anderson, Luke Kuechly, and Jason Phillips or Jordan Senn. Than there is Otah, who, like Davis, would surprise no one if he got hurt. We'd have Bruce Campbell or Gary Williams starting at right tackle with Otah down.
#2. What if our DTs play poorly, again? So if Ron Edwards, Sione Fua, Terrell McClain, Andre Neblett, Frank Kearse, and
Jason Shirley all play sub-par, and we have no pressure in the middle, what do we do? I have no idea, except hope Jon Beason (if healthy) and Clark Kent save the day. Remember the Chicago game? Matt Forte running over us all day long, that could happen again if our defensive tackles continue to play poorly.
#3. We beat very weak teams last season. Only counting the games we won, we played against starting QBs of: Blaine Gabbert, John Beck, Curtis Painter, Josh Johnson, T.J. Yates, and Josh Freeman. Not very hard opponents. Maybe our team was even worse than our record showed last year, because of the teams we defeated.
#4. What if our defensive backs play poorly? Outside of Chris Gamble, this was a big reason our defense was so bad. Charles Godfrey and Sherrod Martin both had very poor seasons tackling the ball carrier. Martin is a popular punching bag here at CSR, with just reason. He was very bad in coverage and tackling. Than there is our corners, Munnerlynn will most likely move back to nickel corner, but will he be the same player he was in 2010? Let's all hope so. But what about the guy opposite of Gamble? Who will it be? Most likely Brandon Hogan, a fourth round rookie from the Cam Newton draft (2011) who played less than half of the season due to a torn ACL. Will he play well enough to be a number two guy? A question that can't be answered until the season. We can get destroyed by Drew Brees, Matt Ryan, Josh Freeman, Jay Cutler, Peyton Manning, Philip Rivers, Eli Manning, Tony Romo, Michael Vick, and maybe Robert Griffin III with a bad secondary. That will make things a lot harder for the offense.
#5. Our division is extremely tough. Saints might of gotten hit by Goodell, but their offense isn't much different, aside from losing Robert Meachem and Carl Nicks. Their offense is still good enough to put up 40 against a lot of teams. The Falcons have a good team, one that was the number one seed in the NFC playoffs in 2010, and they have added one big thing since than: Julio Jones, someone I feel is going to have a great season next year, and will be a force to be reckoned with. They have added Ray Edwards, who has been a free agency bust, replaced Curtis Lofton with Lofa Tatupu, and added Asante Samuel. The Buccaneers have added a everydown RB that doesn't fumble, a all-pro guard, a Pro-Bowl wide-out, and the seventh overall pick Mark Barron. They have improved drastically and with what they have added to the offense, Josh Freeman should have a bounce back year, as should Mike Williams, who will get second string coverage. This is anyones division, anyone can finish in any spot.
#6. Will the Sophomore Slump Strike? Plenty of quarterbacks have had the Sophomore slump and struggled their next season. Well Cam Newton is heading into year two, coming off a season that will be hard to top, even for veterans with years of experience. Every quarterback is different, one might have a great second year (see Dan Marino, Ben Roethlisberger, etc.), and one might have a really bad season (Sam Bradford, Matt Stafford, etc). If Cam plays bad, our team fails. It is that simple, look no farther than the 2010 season for proof. We went from the worst offense in the league to a top five offense after drafting Newton.
Let's see what you have to say. Post any concerns or arguements against my points.