The Sporting News Has High Hopes For New-Look Carolina Panthers
The NFL regular season kicks off on Thursday night (9/7) so this is the week for the sports media to weigh in with their predictions. Although the Carolina Panthers have undergone a major rebuild with a new head coach, new starting quarterback, and many other new personnel, they may benefit from the other teams in the NFC South being in similar situations. The Panthers open their season at Atlanta on Sunday (9/10) at 1:00 pm.
NFL writer Vinnie Iyer of The Sporting News believes the Panthers can actually win their division. He writes, “The Panthers may already have the best new starting QB in the division with Bryce Young having better pedigree at this point than Derek Carr (Saints), Desmond Ridder (Falcons) and Baker Mayfield (Buccaneers). He also might get the best overall support from versatile skill players and defense.”
How Will The Carolina Panthers Finish This Season?
Here are the teams The Sporting News sees winning their respective divisions this season:
- AFC East – New York Jets (13-4)
- AFC North – Cincinnati Bengals (13-4)
- AFC South – Jacksonville Jaguars (13-4)
- AFC West – Kansas City Chiefs (15-2)
- NFC East – Philadelphia Eagles (13-4)
- NFC North – Detroit Lions (11-6)
- NFC South – Carolina Panthers (9-8)
- NFC West – San Francisco 49ers (14-3)
The Sporting News does not expect the Panthers to go far in the playoffs, but just finishing the season with a winning record would be a remarkable accomplishment. They haven’t done that since 2017. It would also go a long way to removing the sour taste left behind by the Matt Rhule regime.
Who Will Win Super Bowl LVIII?
Let’s look at the playoffs. In the NFC, Vinnie Iyer predicts Wild Card playoff spots will go to the Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers, and Seattle Seahawks. The Divisional Round will see the Eagles beat the Cowboys and the 49ers beat the Lions. The 49ers will then beat the Eagles for a spot in the Super Bowl.
In the AFC, Iyer sees Wild Card playoff spots going to the Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills, and Pittsburgh Steelers. The Divisional Round will see the Chiefs beat the Bengals and the Jets beat Jacksonville. The Jets will then beat the Chiefs and go to their first Super Bowl since 1969.
According to The Sporting News, the New York Jets, now led by former Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, will take down the San Francisco 49ers to become Super Bowl LVIII champions. But if the Carolina Panthers can even make it into the playoffs this season, even with all of the questions surrounding the team, that has to bode well for the future.