With the NFL season kicking off tomorrow, it’s time for each of us to go out on a limb and predict how many game the Carolina Panthers will win in 2016.
CBS Sports predicted the winners and losers of every NFL game this season, and in the end they pegged the Panthers going 11-5 and once again winning the NFC South. CBS projected Panther losses in the following games:
Week 1 at Denver Broncos
Week 6 at New Orleans Saints
Week 12 at Oakland Raiders
Week 13 at Seattle Seahawks
Week 15 at Washington Redskins.
ESPN projects the Panthers going 12-4 this season with a fourth consecutive NFC South championship.
From a betting perspective, the Panthers over/under win total is 10.5 games. If I were a betting man (and I’m not), I’d take the over.
So, lots of love from multiple sources of the Panthers winning 11-plus games in 2016.
I’ll plan my flag in the ground and predict a 13-3 season.
I think the Panthers will come out like a pack of wild dogs (er, big cats?) against the Broncos and avenge their stinging Super Bowl loss. Denver’s second-year QB Trevor Siemian has never thrown an NFL pass. When Siemian looks across the line at Luke Kuechly, Thomas Davis, Kawann Short, Star Lotulelei, and Co., I imagine every muscle that ends in "-incter" will tighten like a vise.
As far as losses go in the 13-3 season I'm predicting, here are my guesses and the rationale:
Week 6 at New Orleans Saints: NFC South rivalry games are always unpredictable, so I’ll pin a loss at Drew Brees’ place. The Saints are always a tough out, and while the Panthers won both games last year, the scores were tight at 27-22 and 41-38.
Week 13 at Seattle Seahawks: My guess is the Panthers split their games against Arizona and Seattle, so I’ll give them a loss in Week 13 at the Seahawks.
Week 17 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Carolina will be going in to the final game of the regular season with a 13-2 record and home field advantage secured for the playoffs. The Panthers goal in Week 17 will be to stay (or get) healthy for the postseason, while the young and improving Bucs will look at this match-up as their biggest, most important game of the year. Bucs win this one.
That’s my view. Please vote in the poll below and sound off in the comments with your predictions for the upcoming season.