The Charlotte Observer's Scott Fowler and Tom Sorensen have made a video and both written a column with their predictions for the 2013 Carolina Panthers season.
I could see scenarios where both records are possible. Injuries are the key that nobody can predict. Every team has injuries, but who and at what position has them will determine every teams success. Below is my take on the 2013 Carolina Panthers season:
It all starts and ends with Cam. If he can limit the turnovers and still be the dynamic playmaker he has proven to be, then we will have a good to great year. Our RB's need to be more of a focus (running the ball, screens and dump offs) to take pressure off Cam, which is what we should have been doing from Day 1 of his career. Early in the year we cannot afford DeAngelo to get hurt, not with Stewart out at least the first 5 games and the other RB's being suspect. Tolbert is great as a complimentary RB, not a featured one. Smitty will still lead the receiving core with Olsen #2 and LaFell #3, but the addition of Ginn will change how defenses game plan. I LOVE the impact he will have on Offense. The other WR's (Hixon and Edwards) will provide quality depth. Finally the big question offensively, the OL. I think they will come together. Of course we have the studs in Gross and Kalil, but I also like the young and improving Silatolu and bringing back Wharton. Bell is not great, but serviceable and the coaches think highly of him as a young player. Then consider Williams as a swing G/T and Scott as a huge run blocking G and we have some pieces to work with. The OL will get better with time especially considering the new players (free agents and those returning from injury) that need to jell.
I love the DT additions of Star and KK to an already strong DL. Having Luke, TD (who is now 1.5 years removed from his last injury), a healthy Beason, and solid depth (Blackburn, rookie AJ Klein, and Senn) make our LB's potential scary. Our CB's are not stars, but they are young and improving with similar players as backups. Godfrey is back to his natural FS position where he flourished 3 years ago and add in Mitchell and Mikel as solid run stuffing vets. With a dominant front 7, bend don't break secondary (we may not have "stars," so teams will get yards, but not points) and a focus on taking the ball away we could be looking at an elite defense.
Gano looks consistent and may just be a keeper, Nortman is improving, our coverage teams have seemed to get down the field faster while being more disciplined in their lanes, oh, and there is the addition of some guy named Ginn who only returned the first punt he touched as a Panther for a TD. All I can say is "More Please!"
I think we will have fewer turnovers, force more turnovers, better utilize our RB's, improved Special Teams all the way around (which is not that difficult considering where we were), finish with a top 10 defense and top 15 offense. What does this all add up to?
Cam will have the Panthers going in the right direction as I will have to agree with Scott Fowler and predict 10-6 record, wildcard playoff berth with us winning in the Wildcard round and losing in the Divisional.
There you have it. What are your thoughts?