Can a healthy Cam Newton help the Carolina Panthers improve on their 7-9 record last season?
The Panthers suffered an absolute meltdown halfway through last season which put their 2018 record at 7-9. After Cam Newton hurt his shoulder again, the Panthers went 1-7 in the second half of the season, and lost any chance of a playoff berth. Newton is now 30-years-old and has had two shoulder surgeries in under three years. The wariness about the health of their quarterback last season sparked a strong free agency and draft in which the Panther defence got a major facelift.
Carolina Panthers Acquisitions and Moves
There were some big changes in the Panthers locker room in this offseason.
A big signing for Carolina was Tampa Bay’s Gerald McCoy who was released by the Bucs in May. He’d spent nine seasons in Tampa Bay and was a three-time, first-team All-Pro three times and six-time Pro Bowler. Carolina hopes this addition will bolster their already solid defense. They picked up C Matt Paradis in free agency, he should be good protection for Newton. The club re-signed S Eric Reid and OT Daryl Williams and parted ways with OT Matt Kalil, LB Thomas Davis and DE Julius Peppers.
Carolina Panthers 2019 NFL Schedule
The Panthers will be hopping continents this season, with a trip to London in the mix. In terms of strength of schedule, the Panthers are ranked at 16th (tied with the Chargers) with their opponents’ combined 2018 record at 128-127-1, and their opponents combined win percentage in 2018 a .502. Carolina‘s toughest stretch of the season may be its final nine games, during which the Panthers play five games against teams that finished with at least nine wins in 2018
Here’s their 2019 schedule:
Week 1: Sept. 8 vs. Los Angeles Rams, 1 p.m. ET
Week 2: Sept. 12 vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 8:20 p.m. ET
Week 3: Sept. 22 at Arizona Cardinals, 4:05 p.m. ET
Week 4: Sept. 29 at Houston Texans, 1 p.m. ET
Week 5: Oct. 6 vs. Jacksonville Jaguars, 1 p.m. ET
Week 6: Oct. 13 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (London), 9:30 a.m. ET
Week 7: BYE
Week 8: Oct. 27 at San Francisco 49ers, 4:05 p.m. ET
Week 9: Nov. 3 vs. Tennessee Titans, 1 p.m. ET
Week 10: Nov. 10 at Green Bay Packers, 1 p.m. ET
Week 11: Nov. 17 vs. Atlanta Falcons, 1 p.m. ET
Week 12: Nov. 24 at New Orleans Saints, 1 p.m. ET
Week 13: Dec. 1 vs. Washington Redskins, 1 p.m. ET
Week 14: Dec. 8 at Atlanta Falcons, 1 p.m. ET
Week 15: Dec. 15 vs. Seattle Seahawks, 1 p.m. ET
Week 16: Dec. 22 at Indianapolis Colts, 1 p.m. ET
Week 17: Dec. 29 vs. New Orleans Saints, 1 p.m. ET
Carolina Panthers 2019 Season Odds
As of this writing, the oddsmakers at Sports Interaction have the Panthers priced at +220 to make the playoffs this season. To win the NFC South, they are third behind the Saints and the Falcons and are priced at +550. They are huge longshots to win a Super Bowl this year, with their current odds set at +5000.
Carolina Panthers 2019 Season Prediction
While they’re not likely going to be an elite team this year, the Panthers secondary has been very much improved, so we can expect them to improve (a little) on last year’s record. It would also be helpful if Cam Newton started strong immediately, which would be a welcome improvement on offense. They go 8-8 in 2019.