Carolina Panthers 2014 Schedule Prediction: ESPN The MAGAZINE YOU ARE WRONG!

I walked into my parent’s house and I saw ESPN The Magazine sitting on my Dad’s desk. The cover read NFL 2014, who wouldn’t pick that up? I grabbed it and turned right to the index, and saw that ESPN was nice enough to predict the outcome of every game on every NFL team’s schedule.

It took me a while to find the section on the Panthers, but when I did, I was not a happy camper.  ESPN predicts Carolina to go 8-8, with only have a 43.5% chance of making the playoffs. I think the Panthers deserve a little more respect. They did finish 12-4 and  win the NFC South last year. ESPN has the Panthers beating the Buccaneers, Lions, Saints, Eagles, Falcons, Vikings, and Browns, while they have the Panthers losing to the Steelers, Ravens, Bears, Bengals, Packers, Seahawks, Saints, and Falcons. Some of these predictions I agree with and some I don’t.

There are two game predictions that really upset me….

One was picking the Steelers to beat the Panthers 20-0. I mean really? ESPN listen carefully....ICE UP SON! The Steelers defense is old and Roethlisberger has been sacked 112 times in the last 3 seasons. His big body has to be hurting because he isn’t getting any younger. The Panthers defense will destroy Roethlisberger in his precious pocket.  I think they have this score backwards.

The other game was the 20-13 loss to Minnesota. The Vikings are young and don’t have an established quarterback. They do have Adrian Peterson, who could run the ball probably 100% of the time if you let him. But the Panthers front seven is too much to handle for this Vikings squad. The young quarterback will constantly be pressured and Peterson will have some trouble getting into our backfield. 

My 2014 schedule predictions for the Carolina Panthers (with a healthy Cam Newton):

Overall record: 10-6               2nd in NFC South

1. September 7 @ Tampa Bay:  W 28-14
2. September 14 vs. Detroit: L 28-17
3. September 21 vs. Pittsburgh: W 20-0
4. September 28 @ Baltimore: W 21-14
5. October 5 vs. Chicago: L 24-14
6. October 12 @ Cincinnati: W 28-10
7. October 19 @ Green Bay: L 27-20
8. October 26 vs. Seattle: L 17-13
9. October 30 vs. New Orleans: W 24-21
10. November 10 @ Philadelphia: L 28-24
11. November 16 vs. Atlanta: W 24-14
12. November 30 @ Minnesota: W 28-7
13. December 7 @ New Orleans: L 28-17
14. December 14 vs. Tampa Bay: W 28-13
15. December 21 vs. Cleveland: W 24-20
16. December 28 @ Atlanta: W 24-17

There are two games I look forward to seeing the most on the schedule, the Detroit Lions and Seattle Seahawks.

The Lions game will show us how good our defense really is. The Lions have one of the best offensive rosters in the NFL. Some of those players include: Megatron, Ryan Broyles, Golden Tate, Eric Ebron and Reggie Bush. This will be a huge test for our secondary, let’s hope they can live up to the challenge.

The match-up against Seattle will show us if we are playoff ready. Seattle is obviously the best team in the NFL, so this game will be a mid-season measurement of our success. It will again be a defensive battle.

What are your predictions? What game are you looking forward to watching most on the Panthers schedule?

Follow +Justin Raymond on Twitter @JayRay19