Newton gets a B for now. If he remains healthy and doesn't regress to his previous throwing form he could easily upgrade to an A.
McCaffery is one of the best in the league and offers Carolina's offense a fulcrum around which to attack defenses.
Protection & Blocking
This has been tough on the Panthers for the last few seasons. They invested an early pick in Greg Little but expect 2017's second round pick, Taylor Mouton, to man the left side for this season. How he plays will determine how well the offense does.
Lots of potential here, and lots of speed.
Big Play Ability
Red Zone Success
Skills Analysis Notes
Imagine having DJ Moore, Torrey Smith, Curtis Samuel, Cam Newton and Christian McCaffery on the field at the same time? The Panthers should be able to hit quite a few home runs with this lineup. What they need to do is give up fewer negative plays, keep Newton healthy, and finish drives better.
The depth at defensive tackle is sick. They get an A- only because they need to prove they can rush the passer.
Defensive back looks much better than it did this time a year ago. Eric Reid and Donte Jackson have really stabilized the secondary.
Passing Game Defense
Stopping the Run
Controlling Field Position
Stopping The Big Play
Skills Analysis Notes
The Panthers are among the best units at every level of their defense. This should be an exciting defense to watch.
Special Teams and Coaching
Overall Coaching / School Analysis
Rivera and his staff are consistent. They need to be tactically and strategically better if Carolina is going to take the next step.
Overall Team Grade
This team is as good a team defensively as the league has seen, at least right now. The major questions here are Newtons health and the overall efficiency of the offense.
Last season, did the team meet your expectations?
Slightly Under-performed Expectations
Questions surround Newton's ability to stay healthy, their offensive line, and little else. With a defensive line as dominating as their should be and a plethora of speed on offense simply adequate offensive line play will likely lead to a playoff push. Good offensive line play and a healthy Newton should lead to a team that can go the distance.