Why we’re going all the way The 2016 Panthers were crushed by injuries, yet still managed to come within a few missed field goals of being 8-8. The 2017 squad brings back a core that went 15-1 in 2015, with the additions of dynamic playmakers Christian McCaffrey and Curtis Samuel. The defense should also be dominant once again with the return of Pro Bowl linebacker Luke Kuechly and the addition of veterans Julius Peppers and Captain Munnerlyn. Second-year cornerbacks James Bradberry and Daryl Worley should also be more acclimated to the NFL and will be even better than they were in their rookie campaigns.
The season is hopeless if [THIS] happens If Cam Newton has any major setbacks from his offseason rotator cuff surgery, the Panthers’ 2017 hopes will be derailed. Derek Anderson is a fine backup quarterback, but he’s not going to lead a team to the Super Bowl. Without Newton being at least 85 percent, the Panthers will find themselves struggling to avoid another top-10 draft pick.
Who is your biggest rival and why? The Atlanta Falcons, simply due to geography and the fact that they’ve been in the same division since the Panthers came into the league in 1995. Panthers fans and Falcons fans rarely see eye to eye on anything, but let’s not let that distract us from the fact that the Falcons blew a 25-point lead in the Super Bowl.
Tailgate food that best describes your team? Bojangles’ fried chicken. Spicy, legendary, and the best in the South. They’ve both been owned by Jerry Richardson, too, but it’s mainly because of the legendary and best in the South part.
What does your team do better than anyone else? No one can make nonsensical challenges and lose them like Ron Rivera. I don’t have the data to back this up, but he’s something like 3-28 on challenges since he was hired by Carolina in 2011.