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Added August 27th, 2012 by Chalk
NFL

2012 NFL Predictions & Preview: Carolina Panthers 7-9

With the NFL regular season fast approaching, we at SportsUntapped are taking our crystal balls out of storage and examining each team’s full 16-game schedule to prognosticate how the 2012 season will play out. We’ll look at all 32 teams and reveal each one’s final record. Next up: Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers, who will try to keep improving despite heightened expectations.

CAROLINA PANTHERS

Last year’s record: 6-10

Vegas Over/Under on 2012 Regular Season Wins: 7.5

First four games:
Sep 9 @Tampa Bay 4:25 pm
Sep 16 New Orleans 1:00 pm
Sep 20 N.Y. Giants 8:20 pm
Sep 30 @Atlanta 1:00 pm

At least one of the Panthers is guaranteeing a Super Bowl win this season, but if they can’t win on the road in Week 1, they could easily start the year 0-4. I think they may find a way to beat the Buccaneers, but they’ll still be 1-3 after September.

Second four games:

Oct 7 Seattle 4:05 pm
Week 6 BYE
Oct 21 Dallas 1:00 pm
Oct 28 @Chicago 1:00 pm
Nov 4 @Washington 1:00 pm

The schedule gets a little softer here and the bye should help, but I don’t see more than two wins in this stretch. The Week 9 meeting of Cam Newton and RGIII should be interesting even though both teams will probably come in with losing records. So count on the Panthers being at 3-5 halfway through the season.

First four games of the second half:

Nov 11 Denver 1:00 pm
Nov 18 Tampa Bay 1:00 pm
Nov 26 @Philadelphia 8:30 pm
Dec 2 @Kansas City 1:00 pm

This is another fairly tough stretch that will very tough to get more than two wins. A visit from Peyton Manning, a Monday nighter against Michael Vick and a trip to Arrowhead and the Panthers will be 5-7 and close to eliminated heading into the last four weeks of the season.

Last four games:

Dec 9 Atlanta 1:00 pm
Dec 16 @San Diego 4:05 pm
Dec 23 Oakland 1:00 pm
Dec 30 @New Orleans 1:00 pm

The Panthers might be able to get an extra win or two down the stretch from teams with better chances of making the playoffs choking, or if the Saints have nothing to play for in Week 17. I see only two more wins and a 7-9 record, just a slight improvement from last year’s 6-10 mark.

 
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