The Panthers accolades just keep rolling in and rightfully so on the franchises best season at 15-1 going into the playoffs. After a franchise best ten pro bowlers being voted in, the Panthers now have a team best six players voted to the All-Pro team today. They had only had a best three in 1996 and 2013.
Cam Newton, Luke Kuechly, Thomas Davis, Josh Norman, Ryan Kalil, and Mike Tolbert represent the six All-Pro Panthers. Kuechly received 49 of 50 votes, one short of joining Adrian Peterson and JJ Watt as the only unanimous selections.
Cam Newton continues to reel in awards and will likely receive another big one in the MVP of the league after leading the league in total touchdowns with 45 on the season. 35 passing and 10 rushing with only 10 interceptions on the way to a 15-1 regular season.
Thomas Davis is finally getting recognized after returning from an absurd three ACL tears and becoming one the leagues top outside linebackers. He finished the regular season with 105 total tackles, 5.5 sacks, 4 interceptions, and four forced fumbles.
Luke Kuechly had another dominant season despite missing a month of games due to a concussion. He finished the regular season with 118 tackles, 1 sack, 4 interceptions, and 4 forced fumbles as well. Yes, he finished with more tackles than Thomas Davis after missing a month of games. One of those weeks was a bye week.
Josh Norman's break out year continues to climb along with the price of his contract he will receive from someone. He finished second in yards allowed per pass attempt by cornerbacks behind Patrick Peterson and it was only by less than a half yard. Opposing quarterbacks QBR rating would have been better by throwing the ball into the ground rather than throwing it Norman's way. He finished with 56 tackles, 4 interceptions (two returned for touchdowns), and three forced fumbles. Norman is also a candidate for the leagues defensive player of the year award. He's played a major part in the second level of the teams defense.
Ryan Kalil continues to be one of, if not the best centers in the league. Always consistent, reliable, and a great team leader overall. He's been the best player on the offensive line since he came to Carolina and he's showing no signs of stopping that.
Mike Tolbert, the human bowling ball, got back to his best form again this season. He averaged 4.1 yards per carry on the ground when running and finished with one touchdown in that department. One of his bigger threats is receiving out of the backfield, where he had 18 catches for 154 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Kawann Short and Greg Olsen were voted second team All-Pros. Short finished the season with a stellar 11 sacks at the defensive tackle position. He also had 36 tackles and three forced fumbles. Olsen had another career season finishing with 77 catches for 1,104 yards and seven touchdowns. The yards and touchdowns are both career highs.
It's been a great season for the Carolina Panthers, but like Thomas Davis said, "It means nothing without a Super Bowl."
By Tripp Morgan