Carolina Panthers: 2016 Preview, Offseason Recap, Status Report, Schedule, Outlook
Carolina Panthers 2016 Preview
July 24, 2016
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The Carolina Panthers are coming off an improbable trip to the Super Bowl and now enter this season as one of the favorites to return to the promised land. The Panthers have made the playoffs three straight seasons under coach Ron Rivera and should be highly motivated to right a wrong.
Can the Panthers get back to the big game this season?
USA TODAY Sports
Here is your 2016 Carolina Panthers NFL preview.
Key Player Losses: The Panthers lost a pair of cornerbacks in Josh Norman and Charles Tillman. Norman couldn’t get a contract done due to the amount of insane money he wanted as a top corner, and Tillman decided to retire. The Panthers also lost their fourth-best tackler in safety Roman Harper and defensive end Jared Allen. Offensively, Carolina watched wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery leave after two seasons and a combined 87 receptions.
Key Player Additions: The only notable addition the Panthers made was defensive tackle Paul Soliai. Soliai was a Pro Bowl selection in 2011 and has been an effective player for much of his career. You just question how much Soliai has left in the tank as he approaches 33 years old this season.
Draft: Vernon Butler was a solid pick for the end of the first round, as he’s a massive defensive tackle and will blend in well with a unit that already includes Kawann Short and Star Lotulelei. James Bradberry is a big, aggressive cornerback that the Panthers like and should play with a chip on his shoulder coming out of Samford. Daryl Worley is another big corner out of West Virginia and showed his playmaking skills last season, while Zack Sanchez is a defensive back who simply has a knack for the football. The Panthers clearly have no issues adding depth to an already good defense.
Outlook: The Carolina Panthers are the head and shoulders favorites to win the NFC South and are led by one of the best players in the league. Cam Newton led Carolina to a 15-1 record with Tedd Ginn as the top receiver. The Panthers also return the bulk of their defense that finished sixth last season in total yards allowed. It’s hard to return to the Super Bowl, but there’s no question the Panthers should win their division and make a serious run towards that goal. The Panthers winning the NFC South may be the easiest division winner to call this season.
Carolina Panthers 2016 Schedule:
Sept. 8, at Denver Broncos (Thu), 8:30
Sept. 18, San Francisco 49ers, 1
Sept. 25, Minnesota Vikings, 1
Oct. 2, at Atlanta Falcons, 1
Oct. 10, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Mon), 8:30
Oct. 16, at New Orleans Saints, 1
Oct. 30, Arizona Cardinals, 4:25
Nov. 6, at Los Angeles Rams, 4:05
Nov. 13, Kansas City Chiefs, 1
Nov. 17, New Orleans Saints (Thu), 8:25
Nov. 27, at Oakland Raiders, 4:25
Dec. 4, at Seattle Seahawks*, 8:30
Dec. 11, San Diego Chargers, 1
Dec. 19, at Washington Redskins (Mon), 8:30
Dec. 24, Atlanta Falcons (Sat), 1
Jan. 1, at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1