With one of the top offenses and top defenses in the NFL, the Carolina Panthers are rising among the elites of the NFL, and have earned themselves a position as the top breakout team from week 9 in the NFL.
I have been holding off on picking the Carolina Panthers as a breakout team for two reasons. First, they had an underwhelming performance against the Washington Redskins in week 5. Second, the pairing of new offensive coordinator, Norv Turner, with quarterback Cam Newton.
I was proven wrong on both points. It turns out that the loss to Washington was an aberration, as the Panthers have won 3 straight since then by a combined score of 99-66. And if you saw Cam Newton playfully imitating Norv in the victorious post-game press conference after his squad dismantled the Bucs last Sunday, you know Cam and Norv are working together just fine.
Cam has flourished in Norv’s offense, throwing 15 TDs and only 4 picks with a QB rating of 100.8 through 9 weeks. Carolina is #11 in points scored/game at 27.5 and trail the Saints by only one game in the NFC South, with 2 games left to play against New Orleans head to head.
The Panthers also run the ball well, sitting at #2 in the NFL at 143.9/game.
Defensively Carolina is solid, rolling in at #8 overall and #12 in points against at 22.5. The last time I checked 27.5 beats 22.5 every time. So although it took me a while to get it, consider these Panthers broken out.