Whats Up with the Carolina Panthers?

It’s hard to follow a nearly perfect football season, but with the first few weeks of the 2016 NFL season, people are starting to question what is up with the Carolina Panthers.

This time last year, the Panthers were 4-0. Right now the Panthers are sitting at a tough 1-4. So, what happened?

People are talking about the Panthers defense. According to Pro Football Focus, the Panthers defense is giving up an average of 5.5 yards per play and 27 points per game. The best defense in the NFL helped the Panthers have a nearly perfect 2015 season. The defense in this 2016 season does not compare.

Many people say it is all of the personnel changes in the Panther’s defensive secondary. We all remember the Josh Norman fiasco where the Pro Bowl cornerback decided to take his talents elsewhere in search of a bigger payday.

Norman is not the only loss to the Panthers pass coverage team. Safety Roman Harper was not resigned in the offseason and went back to his former team, the New Orleans Saints. Also, cornerback Bene Benwikere was let go after giving up a historic receiving day to Falcons’ wide receiver, Julio Jones.

This leaves a lot of responsibility to some rookie corners and former UNC Safety, Robert Lester.

Despite the revamp of the defensive secondary, the Panthers have been dealing with an injury-plagued offense. Running back Jonathan Stewart has missed the most time with a lingering hamstring injury from a Week 2 game against the 49ers. Stewart has been back to practice this week and is expected to play in Week 6 against the Saints.

NFL MVP Cam Newton received a concussion in the fourth quarter of the Oct. 2 game against the Atlanta Falcons. Losing Newton for even a week is detrimental to the team. Cam will return to the field after sitting out one game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. People are also saying that Newton is not nearly as good as he was in the 2015 season. There is a lot of pressure coming off your MVP year, right?

Sitting in last in the NFC South, sports analysts are dismissing the Panthers for the playoffs. There is work to be done on both sides of the team.

There is a mix of reasons the Panthers is not the team we expected this season. It’s hard to watch the home team this year, but all we have to do is #KeepPounding.