Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Thursday, September 2, 2010 9:52 pm

The 2010 Panthers …

Filed under: Panthers — Lex @ 9:52 pm
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… are gonna suck eggs, if you believe the NFL’s stable of prognosticators. The best anyone predicts is 8-8 and 3rd in the conference, several say 6-10 and one says 5-11.

Me? I think a defense as good as the Panthers’ D has looked in the preseason will take you places. The big question mark was the D-line, and it has played well against the run and gotten a serious pass rush on. It sucks that MLB Jon Beason had to move outside to replace the injured Thomas Davis, but 1) Beason is gonna get tackles no matter what position he plays, and 2) Davis apparently may yet play this year.

Special teams appear solid, with John Kasay and Jason Baker quite reliable and the kick/punt coverage appearing to be significantly improved from last year. But kick/punt returns are still a big question mark.

The problem is that the offense, which the team didn’t do a lot to revamp in the off-season,  has serious problems: Not only can Matt Moore not find a receiver, but nobody, nobody has emerged as a viable alternative to Steve Smith. (For yet another year.) Worst of all, the O-line, which was thought to have enough spot-for-spot talent to match up with anyone in the league, appears to be having serious problems playing as a team.

Based on what I’ve seen this preseason, this team is not going to score many points. And the best defense in the league can’t help you all that much if it’s on the field too much. Against a dramatically improved division, that spells trouble.

So: If Steve Smith says healthy, I predict 8-8, which may not be good enough to keep the Panthers out of the NFC South cellar.

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