Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers may open their season on the road, but that hasn’t stopped them from being the favorites in the NFL odds for Week 1’s date with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
We shouldn’t have to tell you just how dangerous Newton is. Last season spoke for itself.
Passing-wise, Newton finished with 4,051 passing yards and 21 touchdowns and added on 706 rushing yards and 14 additional scores. The only downfall was the mistakes he made as he ended up with 17 interceptions and three lost fumbles.
No one knows what to expect out of Newton in his sophomore season. Will he somehow improve on those numbers? Or have teams figured him out by now?
Newton will have DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart in the backfield, though Stewart is banged up right now. At receiver, Steve Smith is the clear go-to target, while it appears Brandon LaFell has won the other starting position.
On defense, Carolina seems to be in a good position.
Jon Beason is back and healthy and the team also went out and drafted Luke Kuechly with their first round pick. He should be a tackle machine at linebacker.
Don’t be surprised to see the Panthers being competitive in the NFC South, one of the most competitive divisions in football. The New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons should both make the playoffs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers should be improved as well.
That doesn’t mean there isn’t room for the Panthers either. They have one of the most exciting players in the NFL leading their team and also have a fully healthy defense to count on this season.
This is why Carolina’s the favorite in Tampa Bay in Week 1. The Panthers are on the up and up and have an excellent shot at starting off the season 1-0.