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Panthers take the 10th spot in our Preseason Power Rankings

Carolina Panthers v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Getty Images

While there’s plenty of reason for optimism in Carolina, there are also plenty of reasons for concern.

There’s clearly enough talent at the right spots for the Panthers to justify being slotted 10th in our Preseason Power Rankings, but there are also sufficient questions to be answered.

Having a top defense intact for another year and Cam Newton at the helm of the offense is enough to make them a contender, but they also have massive holes on the offensive line and at wide receiver, which could make it hard for them to match last year’s success. (You can read the full preview by clicking right here).

If Newton is able to elevate an offense playing without Steve Smith and Jordan Gross for the first time in a decade, the Panthers could again be a playoff team.

But they’ve never had back-to-back winning seasons in franchise history, and it’s possible they might not break that record this year.

You can weigh in on the poll below and in the comments and tell us what you think.

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31 Responses to “Panthers take the 10th spot in our Preseason Power Rankings”
  1. southcakpanther says: Jul 18, 2014 9:05 AM

    There will not be a drop off at WR. We were pedestrian there last year. Left tackle? A little worried. The defense should be better. Top 10 is just right. Preseason rankings don’t mean a thing anyway.

  2. qdog112 says: Jul 18, 2014 9:10 AM

    I’m a Panthers fan and I hope we’re that good. I fear we are ranked too high for all the reasons listed.

    In order to contend, the defense, which lost starters, have to remain as good and Cam has to put the offense on his back. Those who claim the WR and OL loses won’t hurt are just wrong.

    Cam will have to compensate for those loses or Tampa and New Orleans will jump us this year.

  3. faccda01 says: Jul 18, 2014 9:15 AM

    If anything, our WRs will be better than last year. We had Steve Smith who is on a rapid decline, Brandon “stone hands” LaFell, and Ted Ginn who had two catches the year before. I have high hopes for Benjamin and we still have our leading receiver in Olsen.

  4. Nofoolnodrool says: Jul 18, 2014 9:18 AM

    This selection points out why this rankings are a joke. Great defense and bad offense that got worse…10th thanks for the chuckle.

  5. mancave001 says: Jul 18, 2014 9:19 AM

    Ridiculously too high.

  6. eaglesw00t says: Jul 18, 2014 9:20 AM

    Too high by 3 or 4 spots.

  7. blacknole08 says: Jul 18, 2014 9:30 AM

    I think we are right where we should be. We ended the last regular season with an 11-1 record, easily best in the NFL.

    We have a top 5 defense — our front 7 is stacked. That should keep us in every game this season.

    Our WR corps HAS improved somewhat, but it will ultimately depend on Cam to get our offense going.

    But what can I say? I’m an optimist.

  8. eaglesw00t says: Jul 18, 2014 9:35 AM

    I think we are right where we should be. We ended the last regular season with an 11-1 record, easily best in the NFL.

    ———————-

    Yep. Got you real far in the playoffs too, didnt it?

    Overrated, definitely not a top 10 team.

  9. burtmurphy1 says: Jul 18, 2014 9:42 AM

    Joke. Mark my words:

    The panthers are a 4 – 5 win team.

    Yes, they closed strong last year. But this is this year. And these are the realities:

    SS was on the decline, but he was a leader on this team. The other receivers are question marks. They could be extremely talented, but I doubt it shows through this year.

    That offense line is a dumpster fire. I should know; ours was that bad last year. And god forbid they have an injury to the line… they’ll get Cam killed.

    Finally that “stout” defense won’t be at full strength either. Greg “I beat women who dump me” Hardy will at least be gone for 8 games, probably longer. And didn’t they lose starters? Finally Decouldnt is there starting safety…

    4 wins. Maybe 5 or 6 if they get some bounces.

  10. politicallyincorrect says: Jul 18, 2014 9:54 AM

    this one is so absurd it demeans the entire rankings

  11. gotdressedinabooth says: Jul 18, 2014 9:57 AM

    Closed strong? so going 11-1 is now considered just “closing strong?” No 8-4, 9-3 is closing strong. Going 11-1 shows that you belong. Lost to a 49ers team that has proven they belong and when everybody was getting worked over by the Seahawks, the Panthers were a Deangelo Williams fumble away from that win. Peyton Manning’s high-powered offense with all these receivers and catches and touchdowns and.. blah.. scored 8 points. 8.

    btw, lesean mccoy is a beast, not even on AP’s level. Tell Jr. that’s a lost cause.

  12. pilot2011 says: Jul 18, 2014 9:57 AM

    Once again people will be surprised by the Panthers this year.

    I can’t even begin to stress how important Greg Olsen is to this team. He led the team in reception last year, will be a captain, and in all likelihood be a top 5 TE this season.

    The receivers are better than last years…
    Cotchery, Avant, and Benjamin are better than Smith, Lafell, and Ginn. (Smith is a HOFer and my favorite athlete of all time, but it was time to move on).

    The X-Factor for the Panthers in 2014 is the running game. For the first time since 2008, Carolina’s running game looks legit and healthy.

    Jonathan Stewart, Deangelo Williams, and Mike Tolbert will lead this team THIS YEAR to a wild card spot in the playoffs. (I put Stewart first for a reason. My pick for comeback player of the year.)

    Go Panthers. Keep Pounding.

  13. shayeezy says: Jul 18, 2014 9:58 AM

    bizarre that you knock a team like the chiefs for losing offensive linemen when they have been drafting the last couple of years to make up for it, while the panthers lost their best lineman in jordan gross and have a couple of scrubs (one of them a converted defensive tackle) competing for the job. that’s not even factoring in the question mark that is the WR position. the defense will still be stout, but it’s yet to be seen if their offense can hang with the high-flying passing attacks in their division.

  14. pftwd3 says: Jul 18, 2014 10:08 AM

    Is there a convenient list of all the rankings to date? I want to see if they are all this poor.

  15. swede700 says: Jul 18, 2014 10:09 AM

    Eagleswoot, you are wrong…they are too high by about 10 spots. If there is going to be an team that is going to dramatically drop off, it’s going to be the Panthers.

  16. briandorry55 says: Jul 18, 2014 10:14 AM

    Good Quarterback, Good Tight End, Good Defensive Line, and Good Linebackers.

    Every other unit is awful.

    6 or 7 wins.

  17. milkmandanimal says: Jul 18, 2014 10:29 AM

    Cotchery and Avant are #4 WRs on decent teams. Neither one has vaguely any ability to stretch the field any more, and are just guys who are going to find short/middle holes in the zone. Sure, Kelvin Benjamin could be something special, but he’s a big size/speed guy with only one year of college production, who could very easily be Stephen Hill (besides, it’s not like rookie WRs tend to do much anyways with a few exceptions).

    There is NOBODY to throw to in Carolina outside of Greg Olsen. Seriously, in a league where all the rule changes the last 10-15 years have been shifted to emphasize throwing the ball, it is patently insane that Carolina (A) let their entire receiver corps walk and (B) didn’t bother to actually replace them with any decent FAs or a whole slew or WRs (in a very strong WR draft). Throw in a tough division (the Saints still have Brees and therefore an offense, and both Tampa and Atlanta should bounce back somewhat), and Carolina is an easy pick for the team that goes from first-to-worst in their division.

  18. eagles512 says: Jul 18, 2014 10:42 AM

    Too high

  19. bobbyhoying says: Jul 18, 2014 10:52 AM

    I have a friend who is a die-hard Panthers fan and former college athlete. He believes the Panthers management want a mediocre year for Newton to scale back his demands for his next contract. Consequently he believes they are not trying to win this year and have surrounded Newton with minimal talent. If he’s correct, the 10 ranking is too high.

  20. holla2626 says: Jul 18, 2014 11:10 AM

    “Yep. Got you real far in the playoffs too, didnt it?”

    Yeah second round – top 10 all day

  21. watermelon1 says: Jul 18, 2014 11:11 AM

    Yeah, I just don’t see the panthers being the 10th best team in the league this year. If that happens, Cam
    Newton must have been playing like a god!

  22. abreathofsanity says: Jul 18, 2014 12:13 PM

    Yeah, 10th place in the NFC south.

  23. laxcoach37 says: Jul 18, 2014 12:40 PM

    I was wondering when the Panthers would show up. 10th !! No way. This team overachieved last year because the Falcons basically took the year off. The Bucs will be improved and the Falcons are back. The Panthers have 2 bad spots on their OlLine and it was not that good to begin with. THe WR’s need I say more. The Defense keeps them in games. My guess is 8-8 at best.

  24. dalcow4 says: Jul 18, 2014 12:44 PM

    Sorry Panther fan but you have a 7-9 season coming.

  25. realpantherfan says: Jul 18, 2014 12:50 PM

    eaglesw00t says:
    Jul 18, 2014 9:35 AM
    I think we are right where we should be. We ended the last regular season with an 11-1 record, easily best in the NFL.

    ———————-

    Yep. Got you real far in the playoffs too, didnt it?

    Overrated, definitely not a top 10 team.
    ———————————————————–

    Who do you believe are the top 10 teams?

  26. flacco8 says: Jul 18, 2014 1:11 PM

    HAHAHA!!! Has PFT been hanging out with Josh Gordon??? Are you guys kidding me?? Lets see…they lost virtually all of their OL and WR, secondary looks awful

    10th??? Thanks for the laugh PFT!!

  27. blacknole08 says: Jul 18, 2014 1:45 PM

    eaglesw00t says: Jul 18, 2014 9:35 AM

    I think we are right where we should be. We ended the last regular season with an 11-1 record, easily best in the NFL.

    ———————-

    Yep. Got you real far in the playoffs too, didnt it?

    Overrated, definitely not a top 10 team.

    —————————————————-

    We got further than the overrated Eagles. Woot!

  28. snookau says: Jul 18, 2014 2:32 PM

    A Mike Shula led offense scares NO ONE.

    Carolina is a joke.

  29. slick50ks says: Jul 18, 2014 2:42 PM

    I give the Panthers a better chance at being good this year than I do the Bucs or the Falcons.

  30. kimbo71006 says: Jul 18, 2014 4:47 PM

    Look what the Panthers vs Saints did in the offseason with losses, FA and the draft.

    The Saints are going to RUN OVER the Panthers this year…not only are they ranked too high, with what’s happened in the off-season, I’m not sure I would even put them in the Top #15.

  31. simonator917 says: Jul 18, 2014 10:42 PM

    History says they ain’t repeating as division champs. Just sayin’

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