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May 17, 2010

Where to put Panthers in power rankings?

    Throughout the Panthers offseason, there have been as many mood swings as expectations around here.

    From the March purge through a slower-than-slow free agent period, to a draft which gave them plenty of buzz (and quarterbacks), the Panthers have generated mixed feelings with every move and non-move.

    Follow it with trading veteran SS Chris Harris (and John Fox's subsequent take on it), and it's hard for many people to come to grips with where the team stands. 

    So it was a little surprising to see Sports Illustrated's Peter King peg them eighth in his offseason power rankings. He's optimistic that the QB change to Matt Moore will help them bounce back to the playoffs this year.

    Less optimistic (but perhaps more reasonable), was the ESPN version, which has them 18th in the league. 

    Make no mistake, the fluctuations should continue throughout the preseason. 

    Where do you have them, and do the offseason moves put them in better or worse shape going into camp?

— Darin Gantt

Posted by Observer Sports on May 17, 2010 at 12:33 PM | Permalink


I still dont think we will be able to stop the run well enough to use our running game effectively. Depth and inexperience is also a major concern. I say 6-10 if the oster stays the same.

Posted by: Mikey | May 17, 2010 12:42:02 PM

I think some where in the middle is more like it. It all depends if they can get chemistry going with all the young guys.

They will be fast and tough, without veteran leadership let's see how smart they play. If they play tough, smart, and fast they could make a run to loose to the JETS in the super bowl. I would be proud...

Posted by: Eric | May 17, 2010 12:43:56 PM

Even if the defense and offense as a whole don't improve over last year, surely the decrease in QB interceptions and turnovers is worth a win or two, and that's 9 or 10 wins and good enough to get a wild card. Then if you can stay healthy, you are talking Division Champs.

Posted by: Scott W. | May 17, 2010 12:46:17 PM

Peter King knows about as much about NFL Football as my sixteen year old daughter -which is not a lot.
ESPN's take is much more reasonable. When are people going to wake up and stop giving Peter King the credit that he DOESNT deserve? How he got a job at S.I. is beyond me -which is another reason why Im not one of their subscribers.

Posted by: Bob C | May 17, 2010 1:07:02 PM

From the column

"So before I go out this morning, let me embarrass myself by ranking the NFL one through 32. That's not being overly modest -- just realistic. I stink at this. In fact, my recommendation if you really want to find out what's going to happen in the NFL this year is to take a bye on this column. "

He's just throwing out his thoughts with a big qualifier. You can't hate on him too much.

Posted by: JonP | May 17, 2010 1:11:30 PM

Based on last year's finish, I would start them at 16, then add a win for an easier schedule this year, a potentially better QB situation would get them a couple of wins, but not doing anything to improve their DLine would subtract a game, but having T. Davis back is a good thing... I would rank them maybe 11-12th in the league. While they purged some veteran players, I would say they have some younger guys who are capable of filling their shoes, so things are not as bad as they might appear.

Posted by: Mike | May 17, 2010 1:12:49 PM

Walterfootball.com has the Panthers picking at #22 in the 1st round of their 2011 Mock Draft, so they must also think the Panthers will make the playoffs (as the last playoff team).

The difference between last years schedule, and this years, along with how well the games are spaced, should add at least 2 wins to their record.

Posted by: FaithandTruth | May 17, 2010 1:14:21 PM

For now I'll go with King. He usually has us down. Can't wait til August and the pre-season.

Posted by: MajorLeague | May 17, 2010 1:28:07 PM

Where do I have them? Last place, with a lead bullet.

Posted by: Richardson=Shinn | May 17, 2010 1:31:34 PM

Peter King has always had a man-crush on John Fox, so I always take his praise of the Panthers with a grain of salt.

That being said, I would rank the Panthers 13th - the best non-playoff team. We weren't that far from the playoffs last year (do you really think we would have lost to Buffalo and Dallas with a decent QB? We would not have). We did lose some veteran leadership, but the young guys we have are quite capable. If LaFell and Armanti can elevate the receiving corps enough, and if Everette Brown and Dan Connor can excel as full-time starters, we could even sneak into the playoffs.

Saints, Vikes, Colts and Jets are the teams to beat.

Posted by: J | May 17, 2010 1:52:59 PM

Putting the Canthers at #8 demonstrates that Peter King is a textbook moron. Number 18 is the correct (bravo to ESPN) for this group of mediocre misfits.

Posted by: SeenThisB4 | May 17, 2010 1:55:47 PM

For the first time in a while I'm worried about our defense. I'm confident in Moore, but besides the linebackers, we need some added talent.

Posted by: Mike | May 17, 2010 2:14:37 PM

They were in the middle of the pack last year and are no better (if they've avoided being worse.) Above 15 would have been overly optimistic, and 8 is patently absurd.

J, a decent kicker or punt returner would have won us the Buffalo game ( http://www.catscratchreader.com/2010/1/4/1233040/the-buffalo-game-examined-blame-it ), and a star receiver who actually ran the right route could have beaten Dallas.

Posted by: Michael Procton | May 17, 2010 2:18:00 PM


Posted by: bryant80 | May 17, 2010 2:27:51 PM

playoffs they will make...armanti edwards offenvise ROY!

Posted by: mr obvious | May 17, 2010 2:41:19 PM

I think the Panthers will be better than many think this year. They should be rated as a borderline playoff team. Their final position will have a lot has to do with how the ball bounces in close games!

Posted by: GooseCreek | May 17, 2010 2:50:17 PM

It is what it is.

Go Panthers!

Posted by: Bill | May 17, 2010 2:52:15 PM

with the automatice wins against tampa and we will sneak 1-2 wins from saints and falcons and then the the nfc west thatsanywhere from 5-8 wins plus i think we could win a few of the other six games soooo....im thinking 9-7

Posted by: joe | May 17, 2010 3:00:50 PM

Here's the thing...

You can't make a judgment on unknowns and the fact of the matter is we have more than our share of them. The biggest two are if Moore (or one of the other QBs) will step up and how will our defensive line shape up.

I'm a little surprised no one has covered the defensive line question marks yet... Remember when Lewis and Kemo were both out the year before last and we got stomped into the ground by the run game from... everyone? Neither of them are here now and I really don't know what to expect out of our line because it didn't seem like we had the best replacements for them.

Posted by: Sween | May 17, 2010 3:01:40 PM

Peter King also commented that he has the Panthers as being a wild-card team and playing in the Super Bowl. He says "So for five straight years there's been at least a 50-percent turnover in the playoff teams. Remember that as you throw crap at your computer when you see I don't have New England making the playoffs, but I do have Carolina in the big dance. There's not quite the same high number of playoff changes (I have five of 12 different from 2009), but I do have five of eight division winners changing."

Posted by: Nosebleed fan | May 17, 2010 3:05:08 PM

Well this is clearly looking at the glass as half-full, but I suspect that just the QB change is easily worth 2 games. Had Matt Moore started the 2009 season, do you really think he would have gone 4-7? With the easier schedule, I don't think King's projection is patently absurd. I think he's got the Panthers where they should be. And if Lafell or Edwards ends up being a significant contributor, that projection could be conservative.

Posted by: bosotomos | May 17, 2010 3:06:09 PM

thats why he is the professional getting paid to make these predictions. Panthers top 10 at least. maybe number 10.

Posted by: PE | May 17, 2010 3:12:40 PM

Hey, look:

The D we have coming back is the same guys who got the job done at the end of the season last year, minus Pep, who most people spent their lives saying wasn't worth a hill of beans.

The O is unchanged, except for a huge upgrade by subtraction at QB and a couple of new high-rated options at WR.

The schedule is easier and the injury plague rarely happens two years in a row.

Doesn't that add up to some improvement in the record?

Posted by: Authority | May 17, 2010 3:44:18 PM

If we can't stop the run it's going to be a long season. All depends on Meeks and if we can get the other team off the field.

Posted by: Jake | May 17, 2010 3:56:45 PM

Where's the fan spirit man? Come on Panther fans...would it kill you to get a little hyped for your team?

Posted by: Andy | May 17, 2010 4:07:56 PM

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