The 2015 Carolina Panthers shocked the NFL world with their astounding 15-1 record, NFC Championship and Super Bowl appearance. They did so with a stellar defense and incredible play by quarterback Cam Newton. With relatively the same roster heading into the 2016 season, look for this team to rise to the top once again and be legitimate contenders for the Lombardi Trophy. It was apparent that Carolina needed to move on from cornerback Josh Norman who was released and subsequently signed a contract with the Washington Redskins this offseason. Through the 2016 NFL Draft, the Panthers selected three corners, James Bradberry in round two from Samford, Daryl Worley from West Virginia in round three and Oklahoma’s Zack Sanchez in the fifth round. All three of these guys have different attributes and it will be interesting to see how they all fit in the system. Their first round selection, DT Vernon Butler has the upside to be an elite interior lineman and will learn from Carolina greats Star Lotulelei and Kawann Short. Panthers’ quarterback Cam Newton has quickly risen to the top of the signal caller ranks as he can do it all with his arm,
legs and mind. He will have his primary weapon back this year as wideout Kelvin Benjamin missed the entire 2015 season due to an ACL tear he suffered in training camp. Benjamin will join Devon Funchess and tight end Greg Olsen in catching the rock from Newton. Carolina will continue utilizing a running back by committee approach with Jonathan Stewart getting most of the snaps and fullback Mike Tolbert and others seeing the field as well.
After the exciting 2015 run, fans and Carolina Panthers ticket holders have high expectations for this season. The scheduling gods weren’t the kindest to the NFC defending champs as they have to face both the AFC West and NFC West- two of the toughest divisions in the league. Fans, be sure to purchase all your Carolina Panthers tickets and support this exciting team all season long.