6. Carolina Panthers
Winning hard-fought games is one of the main reasons why the Carolina Panthers were able to earn one of the Wild Card spots in the NFC last season, and after defeating the Dallas Cowboys, Ron Rivera’s team seems to have picked up where they left off. On paper, the Panthers are built to make another serious run in the NFC, but if this team truly wants to be a top contender in the NFC for a second year in a row, Cam Newton needs more support from his teammates on offense.
As impressive as it is to see Newton lead Carolina in both passing and rushing yards against Dallas, there’s no reason why it should be happening like this, especially with Christian McCaffrey in the mix. The second-year running back was expected to take on a larger role with Jonathan Stewart no longer part of the picture, and let’s not forget that Carolina also brought C.J. Anderson on board as well in the offseason.
Plus, it’s great to see Newton run with the football every once in a while when needed, but also it would be devastating to see him suffer some sort of injury as a result of this approach. Moving forward, the Panthers backfield needs to do whatever it takes to give Newton better support while helping the team be in the best position possible to compete in the NFC.