Could the 2014 Carolina Panthers Beat the 2013 Carolina Panthers?

We all know that Ron Rivera’s job was on the line last year, and I did not even think that he would last the whole season. Well ESPN, the media, and I were all wrong because he was the NFL Coach of the Year. The Carolina Panthers and Ron Rivera surprised everyone with their 12-4 record and their NFC South division title. We all know how the season ended in the NFL Playoffs and we were all disappointed, but also enthusiastic about the future of this team.

But did the Carolina Panthers make the right moves in the offseason to improve this team, and reach the Super Bowl? I am going to let you decide if the 2014 Carolina Panthers are better than last year’s team.

2013 Carolina Panthers


Top Playmakers: Cam Newton, Steve Smith, Greg Olsen, DeAngelo Williams, Mike Tolbert, Ted Ginn Jr., Brandon LaFell


Top Defenders: Luke Kuechly, Thomas Davis, Mike Mitchell, Greg Hardy, Charles Johnson, Melvin White, Star Lotulelei, Captain Munnerlyn

2014 Carolina Panthers


Top Returning Playmakers: Cam Newton, Greg Olsen, DeAngelo Williams, Mike Tolbert

Key Additions: Jerricho Cotchery, Jason Avant, Kelvin Benjamin, Ed Dickson


Top Returning Defenders: Charles Johnson, Star Lotulelei, Luke Kuechly, Thomas Davis, Greg Hardy, Melvin White

Key Additions: Antoine Cason, Roman Harper, Thomas DeCoud

After looking at the top players on the Panthers the past two seasons, I do believe that the 2014 Carolina Panthers could beat the 2013 Carolina Panthers. The offense did not drastically improve but it is more reliable. The key veteran additions of Cotchery and Avant will help move the ball on third down, and can be counted on to make the play. Kelvin Benjamin is similar in size to Calvin Johnson, and the Carolina Panthers hope that Benjamin will grow into Megatron Jr. Cam Newton will be counted on more to create big plays, but I think he can handle the challenge.

The Panthers defense improved with the key additions of Cason, Harper, and DeCoud. The defensive secondary was a weak spot last season, and their presence makes the defense stronger. Having more reliable defensive backs only makes the defense more dangerous,  but it gives the Panthers defensive line even more time to get to the quarterback.

The biggest difference between the 2014 and 2013 team is maturity. Cam Newton has another season under his belt, and we should see improvement. By now the mistakes should be minimal and he should be more accurate. The young defensive stars are now stronger and smarter.

The Carolina Panthers will have to rely on their defense again to take them to the promised land.  Unfortunately, the offense is still not good enough because of the disappearing offensive line and lack of run game. The Panthers need another good draft class and offseason to solidify themselves as Super Bowl contenders.

By +Justin Raymond 

Follow me on Twitter @JayRay19

Do you think the Panthers have a shot to win the Super Bowl this NFL season?