The Carolina Panthers 2012 season has been a painful reminder that this franchise is far from contending for a Super Bowl. Fans aspirations were mistakenly set too high after a promising rookie season from quarterback Cam Newton.
Though he only managed six wins in his first year, Newton showed at times that he was capable of competing with the best in the league. His exciting play making abilities were something Panther fans had never experienced from their quarterback.
Like a one night stand, Cam Newton’s rookie year was here and gone in a flash. After witnessing his play through nine games this season, it’s hard to say whether this guy’s game will ever come to fruition. It’s time to face the facts for Panther fans, who know at this point there’s little chance at reaching the playoffs.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have won three games in a row and four of their last five. Meanwhile, the Panthers only have two wins on the season. Should we expect more of the same this Sunday, or will the Panthers rise up and make a game of it? I'm going with the former, so let's take a closer look at how things shake out.
A week ago this match-up looked much different to people. The Panthers were coming off a nice win in Washington and were a trendy pick by "sharps" vs the Broncos. That turned out to be an epic thud. Combined with another win from the Bucs, the favorite has flipped and Tampa Bay now sit at -1 or -1.5 favorites, depending on where you shop (odds from SBRforum). I think this line is going to move even more and close closer to -3 by kickoff.
Denver Broncos vs. Carolina Panthers Preview and Prediction
If you put your ear to the ground you can hear the Denver Broncos coming. Peyton Manning has officially re-emerged as one of the NFL’s best quarterbacks. His play continues to improve with each ensuing game, and has quickly picked up where he left off after coming back from a neck injury that sidelined him for the entire 2011 season. He has the ability to make throws that will give any defensive back nightmares, and has no problem wearing out opponents with his arm and shear will to win.
This week the (5-3) Denver Broncos trip across country to face off against the (2-6) Carolina Panthers in what will be head coach John Fox’s first game back at Bank of America Stadium since being fired by his former club. Fox was ousted as head coach of the Panthers following a lame-duck 2010 season in which his team finished just 2-14. Looking back, Panthers fans are probably kicking themselves for getting rid of Fox. He not only has a winning record in his career as head coach, but also has the Broncos in line for a potential Super Bowl Run this season.
The emergence of Doug Martin over the last month has been a remarkable breath of fresh air. For the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, it has also come at a time when the offense was starting to falter. So, now that teams know how explosive this rookie can be, will he be stopped, or can he help the Buccaneers into the playoffs?
Coming out of Boise State, where he had a remarkable time, going close to 3,500 yards on the ground, and capping it with a MVP performance in the 2011 Maaco Bowl. Tampa Bay picked up the top prospect, 31st overall in the 2012 draft. After a decent showing in pre-season Head Coach Greg Sciano had no hesitation naming Martin as starter in the Buccaneers backfield.
In a league now pass orientated, its always going to be hard for a running back to make an impact. Tampa Bay has quarterback Josh Freeman now firmly in control of the offensive reigns, in his fourth season he is still learning the game and can be erratic. Having Doug Martin to hand off to has helped his confidence.
We last saw the San Diego Chargers embarassing their division rivals on prime-time Thursday, but they face a much stiffer challenge when they travel to Tampa Bay this week. Don't look now, but the Buccaneers are on the verge of becoming a very good team. Let's take a look at why I like them to win and cover the number in Week 10.