The Carolina Panthers finally parted ways with Jake Delhomme and have focused on quarterback Matt Moore. Moore, plus a solid running game could be a key to Carolina’s success. The Carolina Panthers have a strong running back combination in the backfield with DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart. Couple those two with one of the most exciting receivers in the NFL, Steve Smith and Matt Moore can get off to a good start as the quarterback for the Carolina Panthers.
Carolina Panthers Will Pound the Ball on Offense
Carolina Panthers quarterback Matt Moore will be used by John Fox much like Mark Sanchez is utilized by Rex Ryan and the New York Jets. Moore will be expected to make key passes at critical times but his running backs will be under pressure to move the ball up the field.
Waiting in the wings is the 48th pick overall in the NFL Draft, Jimmy Clausen. Clausen dropped like a rock on NFL Draft day and the Carolina Panthers happily picked him up with their first pick of the draft in the second round. Clausen should be holding the clipboard for the 2010 NFL season but if Moore goes down with an injury, don’t be surprised if Clausen sees the field this year.
Carolina Panthers Running Backs are the Heart & Soul of This Team
The Carolina Panthers are known for two things among coaches in the NFL. They have one of the best defensive teams in the NFL and they have the best running back tandem in the NFL. Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams have been pounding the ball up the field for the Carolina Panthers for three years now.
Williams is the speed of the running back combination and has the elusive moves that can fool some of the defenders in the open field. Stewart mixes well with Williams because he is straight ahead hammer type runner that will bowl over a defender before he would ever try to fake them out. The 1-2 combo of these two gives even the best defenders a sleepless night on their eve of their games.
Wide Receiver Position is One Man Wrecking Crew of Steve Smith
Carolina Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith is a one man wrecking crew when it comes to Carolina’s passing game. Steve Smith will see plenty of balls thrown his way by QB Matt Moore. Smith’s escapability and excellent route running techniques allow him to be open on virtually every play.
Smith has never had a fast compliment on the other side to allow him an easy time of getting open. Smith works for every pass he catches. The Carolina Panthers draft this year involved picking up a wide receiver that could possibly fight for the number two receiver spot. Brandon LaFell of LSU appears to be the best of three receivers drafted by Carolina. LaFell is a good number two candidate because he presents a larger target and has deceptive speed opposite Smith.
Carolina Panthers Defense Will Miss the Motor of Julius Peppers
The Carolina Panthers defense will be adjusting to life without the pass rush of Julius Peppers. Carolina is looking weak on the defensive line which was one of their strengths in years past. Carolina is much better in the middle and on the outside with a better than average secondary and linebacking crew.
Carolina’s defense in the middle of the field will still be led by Jon Beason but he may be moving over from his customary inside linebacker position. Weak side linebacker Thomas Davis will most likely miss the season with a torn ACL and Beason may have to move over to cover the position.
On the outside, the corners for the Carolina Panthers are solid. Chris Gamble is the number one corner and is a master at covering the receivers from right up on the line to deep into coverage. Gamble will be tested more than ever in the 2010 NFL season with Carolina’s pass rush a distant memory.
Carolina Panthers are a 100-1 Long Shot to WIn Super Bowl
The Las Vegas Hilton Superbook has installed the Carolina Panthers as one of eight teams that is a 100-1 shot to win the Super Bowl. Carolina is also not expected to win many games according to the Las Vegas Hilton Superbook’s over/under win total proposition. The over/under win total is set at 7.5 wins but don’t be surprised if Carolina can sneak in and win eight to nine games. Carolina is also a 7-1 shot to win the NFC South.
Carolina won’t make many highlight reels in the 2010 NFL season but they will give many teams a tough game. If Carolina’s defensive line plays better than expected and gives a better pass rush, they can win a few more games than projected. Can Carolina make the NFL Playoffs? They can make it if the amount of wins required is nine games.
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