Carolina Panthers Beat New Orleans Saints 27 - 22

Carolina Panthers Beat New Orleans Saints 27 - 22

The Carolina Panthers beat the New Orleans Saints 27 -22 at Bank of America Stadium. This matchup was important because it was a game between division rivals. The Panthers were projected to win this game by 9.5 points when news spread that Saints' starting quarterback Drew Brees had an injured shoulder.  But the Panthers only ended up winning this game by 5 points, and it wasn't a "Brees." Why was that?

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Carolina Panthers Turn Down Watt For Win

Carolina Panthers Turn Down Watt For Win

The Carolina Panthers won their home opener by defeating the Houston Texans 24 - 17. In my matchup preview I said, "There is no way the Texans will win this game." Well this game was a lot closer than I wanted it to be. The Panthers had a tough time sustaining drives on offense because of penalties, and poor play. Cam Newton is still lacking on his throwing technique, but he was flying all over the field like Superman.

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Houston Texans vs. Carolina Panthers Preview

Houston Texans vs. Carolina Panthers Preview

Houston Texans vs. Carolina Panthers

The Carolina Panthers struggled on offense last week against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jaguars actually recorded 2 more total yards of offense than the Panthers (265-263 yards). The Panthers' receivers dropped some balls, the run game wasn't successful, and Cam Newton looked to be indecisive at times. But that didn't seem to matter because the Panthers still won 20-9. Their best offense was their defense. The Panthers defense recorded three turnovers, five sacks, and one touchdown.

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The Carolina Panthers Need These Players To Step Up

The Carolina Panthers Need These Players To Step Up

The 2015 NFL season is finally here! It has been a long seven months since the New England Patriots played the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX. But we can finally look past that and focus on this season (I hope). The Carolina Panthers have had a very interesting offseason filled with injuries, releases, and acquisitions. If the Panthers want to three-peat as NFC South Champions, they will need some of their players to step up. 

Who are those players that will need to have a strong season for the Panthers to have success?

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Carolina Panthers: Who Is Wes Horton?

Carolina Panthers: Who Is Wes Horton?

The three defensive ends that are battling for a starting spot opposite of Charles Johnson are Kony Ealy, Mario Addison, and Wes Horton. Kony Ealy was drafted in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft, and is viewed as having lots of potential. Mario Addison is in his fifth season and finished last season with 6.5 sacks. But who is Wes Horton?

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2015 Fantasy Football: Russell Wilson or Cam Newton?

2015 Fantasy Football: Russell Wilson or Cam Newton?

When you think about “elite” fantasy quarterbacks Andrew Luck and Aaron Rodgers come to mind. But you most likely won't have the opportunity to draft one of those players. When you get to that point in your fantasy football draft where you need to draft a quarterback, who will you take?

Most fantasy football owners don't even have Cam Newton or Russell Wilson on the top of their wish list. But they should because the fantasy football experts think that Newton, and Wilson are both top ten worthy quarterbacks. But are they really worthy of their ranking?

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The Offensive Tackle Swap

The Offensive Tackle Swap

One of the biggest needs going into this offseason for the Carolina Panthers was the offensive tackle position. So what did the Carolina Panthers do to try to improve Cam Newton's blindside? They chose not to resign OT Byron Bell and instead signed OT Michel Oher. Bell was not resigned because he was one of the worst tackles in the league last season, but he still found a new home with the Tennessee Titans. Oher was released from the Titans because of his injury and poor play. That was a very interesting swap.

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The Secret Athlete

The Secret Athlete

Some Carolina Panthers fans still have a bad taste in their mouth from when Andrew Luck decided to go back to Stanford for another year. Andrew Luck most likely was going to be the Panthers number one pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. Instead of drafting Luck, the Panthers selected Cam Newton with the number one pick in that draft.

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Smash Without Dash

Smash Without Dash

The Carolina Panthers have two starting running backs currently on their roster with DeAngelo Williams, and Jonathan Stewart. In seven seasons they have rushed for a combined total of 10,453 yards, scored 72 rushing touchdowns, and have cost the Panthers millions.

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Carolina Panthers: Fantasy Football Projections Week 6

The Carolina Panthers surprised us fans week five with a comeback victory over the Chicago Bears. The Carolina Panthers offense scored at least 30 points for the first time this season. The question is did the Panthers finally figure out how to score? Will this trend continue? 

The Panthers have a tough schedule and might have trouble getting in the end zone. But, if Cam Newton can stay healthy, and we can improve the run game, this offense might be able to produce at a high level consistently.

Should you start or sit any Carolina Panthers week six?


My Week Six Projections:


Cam Newton: 19 pts (275 passing yards, 2 touchdown)
Kelvin Benjamin: 13 pts (75 yards, 1 touchdown)
Darrin Reaves: 7 pts (70 rushing yards)
Chris Ogbonnaya: 8 pts (25 rushing yards, 1 touchdown)
Greg Olsen: 15 pts (90 yards, 1 touchdown)
Panthers Defense: 15 pts


My week six recommendations:


The Cincinnati Bengals allowed an underachieving New England Patriots team to score 43 points against them last week. The Bengals are plagued by injuries and don’t look to be getting any healthier this week. They might be playing without A.J. Green, who is their number one weapon on offense. Also, their starting linebacker Vontaze Burfict, is still listed as questionable. He suffered a concussion week two against the Atlanta Falcons. 

ESPN wants you to sit Cam Newton this week, but I say he is a must start! The Panthers offense will take advantage of their injuries and get in the end zone. The only questionable start this week is our running backs. Do not play them unless you need someone in the flex position.

What were my week five fantasy football projections?


My Week Five Projections were:


Cam Newton: 19 pts (280 passing yards, 2 touchdowns)
Kelvin Benjamin: 17 pts (110 yards, 1 Touchdown)
Darrin Reaves or Chris Ogbonnaya: 12 pts (100 yards, 25 receiving yards)
Greg Olsen: 14 pts (80 yards, 1 Touchdown)
Panthers Defense:  10 pts

My Week Five Review:


The Carolina Panthers were able to score 31 points on the Chicago Bears this past Sunday. That might seem like it would be a good day for your fantasy football team, but the turnovers in the first half reduced the point outcome for some of your players. Cam Newton had two turnovers even though he played a great game overall. Kelvin Benjamin several drops and fumbled the football. The Panthers defense and Greg Olsen were the big scorers this past week. 


Week Five Results (According to ESPN):


Cam Newton: 14 pts (255 Yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception, 1 fumble)
Kelvin Benjamin: 1 pt (3 receptions, 38 yards, 1 fumble)
Darrin Reaves: 4 pts (11 attempts, 35 rushing yards) 
Chris Ogbonnaya: 8 pts (8 attempts, 24 rushing yards, 1 touchdown)
Greg Olsen: 19 pts (6 receptions, 72 yards, 2 touchdowns)
Panthers Defense: 18 pts (24 PA, 2 interceptions, 2 fumble recoveries, 1 touchdown)

Will Darrin Reaves score a touchdown this week?

By Justin Raymond
Follow me on Twitter @JayRay19

The Runts of the Cat Litter

The Carolina Panthers have more problems than Jay-Z and his 99 problems. The current state of mind for this team and the fans is the Panthers are not built for an empire. Ok, I am done with the Jay-Z references. The Panthers’ roster is full of players who are both suspended and injured. The 12-4 record from last season is an afterthought, because of all the bad things that keep on happening. The Panthers play the Chicago Bears this week and will have to go to battle with rookies and backups.

Here is the list of injured and suspended players on the Carolina Panthers as of October 1st:

·        RB Jonathan Stewart – Questionable (Knee)
·        RB DeAngelo Williams - Out
·        FB Mike Tolbert - Out
·        TE Richie Brockel - Out
·        RB Fozzy Whittaker - Questionable
·        DE Greg Hardy - Suspended
·        DE Frank Alexander - Suspended
·        DE Charles Johnson – Day to Day
·        LB Thomas Davis – Day to Day

How are the Panthers fighting through this huge list of problems? How are they trying to give us fans hope? They are giving their rookies an opportunity to show the NFL why they deserve a spot on this team. Who are these rookies?

1. Kelvin Benjamin (WR) – The Carolina Panthers first round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. We all know who Kelvin Benjamin is. He has started for the Carolina Panthers since game one. Benjamin currently leads the Panthers in receiving with 21 receptions, 329 yards and three touchdowns. He is currently on pace to be the offensive rookie of the year. He has the size of Calvin Johnson and the hands of Larry Fitzgerald. Benjamin is both a key player and impact player on this Carolina Panthers squad.

2. Darrin Reaves (RB) – Darrin Reaves is a hidden gem out of UAB. Reaves was undrafted and showed the Carolina Panthers what he had in the tank in camp. He is a small running back, with a compact build that loves contact. Reaves recorded a total of 2,337 rushing yards in college, and played on a team that had a losing record of 8-28. Reaves has earned the starter role against the Chicago Bears and should punish some linebackers on his way to the end zone.

3. Kony Ealy (DE) – The second round pick for the Carolina Panthers in the 2014 NFL Draft. Ealy is a big, athletic, pash rusher who is quick off the snap. He was First-team All-SEC in 2013 and finished the season with 43 tackles, and 9.5 sacks. He has had some ups and downs throughout the preseason and season. Cam Newton gave Ealy some tough love during camp, and Ealy used that fuel to light his fire. Kony might get the opportunity to play more because of the injury to Charles Johnson and the suspension of Greg Hardy. Ealy should be able to help pressure Jay Cutler and cause an interception or two.

If the Carolina Panthers want to get into the NFL playoffs this season, they will need help from their rookies. Do you see these rookies having an impact on the matchup against the Chicago Bears? 

Follow me on Twitter @JayRay19

The Carolina Panthers Secret Identity

The Carolina Panthers have a secret identity right now and we have no idea what it is. We all know that Cam Newton is Superman and Greg Hardy is (was) “The Kraken.” But, who are the Carolina Panthers? The Panthers have a record of 2-2 after week four of the 2014 NFL season. They are currently in first place in the NFC South and have the fewest points scored against them in the division. The NFC South currently looks like one of the weakest divisions in the NFL, but you have to stay positive right? After seeing the Panthers play four games we still don’t know the identity of this team. Are they playoff worthy? Or will they have a top 10 pick in the next NFL Draft?

Let’s talk about the Carolina Panthers victories and losses to see if we can answer these questions.

2014 Team Stats:
Offense: Passing Yards: 256.8 Yards (13th)   Rushing Yards: 71.0 Yards (29th)
Defense: Opponent Passing Yards: 233.0 (12th)   Opponent Rushing Yards: 140.8 (27th)

Two Victories
The Carolina Panthers started the season 2-0 by winning their matchups against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Detroit Lions. The Panthers defense looked fierce and ready for a playoff run. Their opponents only averaged 10.5 points per game and the Panthers held their offense to only 86 rushing yards per game.

Two Losses
The next two games the Carolina Panthers lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens. They allowed an average of 37.5 points per game against those two teams. How has this happened to the great Carolina Panthers defense? The defensive line couldn't put pressure on the quarterback, stop the run, and the offense struggled to score.
The Carolina Panthers look like two completely different teams after their first four games of the season.

Who are the 2014 Carolina Panthers?
The Carolina Panthers have a secret identify right now and we won’t be able to find out what it truly is until their next matchup against the Chicago Bears. Will the front seven show up and shutdown Matt Forte, and be able to put pressure on Jay Cutler? Can the defensive secondary compete against Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery? Can the Panthers offense run the ball and get the first down? I believe this team will turn their season around against the Bears and show the NFL that they should be worried when they play the Carolina Panthers!

Do you still have hope for this Carolina Panthers team?


Follow me on Twitter @JayRay19

My Take On Watching Smitty Going Against Us On Sunday. Who Owes Who What?

All those years when Steve Smith played for us, we defended his temper and his antics.  Friends of mine that are fans of other teams would text me when we played them to tell me that Smitty needed to "shut up and play football."  I always responded by saying how much I loved his passion.  All of those battles with DeAngelo Hall, all of the X-Clown type plays, and all of those "Ice Up Son" moments will forever be etched in his legacy as a Panther.  Without question, he is the greatest Panther to ever play and 89% of me wishes he was able to finish his career here.  He is the Panthers all-time leading receiver with  854 receptions and 12,487 yards and he will always have a special place in my heart.


HOWEVER, there is always another side to the story.  Now that he plays elsewhere, his yelling into the camera and throwing former teammates under the bus does wear thin (he said recently that he was glad to finally have a QB that was calm in the huddle).  I have a new appreciation for what my friends saw when texting me about Smith's antics.  Though the Blood and Guts comments seem funny (and in many ways are), there is more to talk about with this comment.  You see 89 is saying that Carolina mistreated him and he deserved better.  He's saying that he was taken out like a bag of garbage.  Though there is a hint of reality in his statements, they do not reflect the entire story.  Carolina drafted him in the 3rd Round when other teams did not see what our organization did.  We gave him the chance to succeed.  And very pertinent to this discussion is the fact that the Panthers stuck by his side when many teams would have shown him the door. Breaking a team-mate's nose and sending him to the hospital while watching film is inexcusable.  The Panthers stuck by their man and helped him restore his reputation.  He then went on to breaking another teammate's nose in Ken Lucas.  Ken Lucas single-handedly saved that Panther team's locker room by being the bigger man and accepting Steve's apology and for saying and doing all of the right things.  That is why I have a #21 Ken Lucas jersey in my collection.  Smitty also was seen cursing out team mates on a regular basis.

Get your Goggles Ready:





So my point here is that Steve Smith should be extremely grateful to the Panther's organization for giving him a shot and for not throwing him out years ago.  The Kraken would love that same opportunity now, wouldn't he?  And #1 resurrected Smitty's career that had collapsed when paired with Jimmy Clausen.  Yea, we all would have loved to see 89 stay here forever, and I hope that he retires a Panther and that no one else wears 89 in Carolina. However, this year he is against us and any smack talk about our organization should be kept in perspective. We owe Smitty our respect, but he owes the Panthers more respect than he is giving at the moment as well.

And I love Steve Smith, but I do hope Harper clean's his clock this week (Seems so weird to say that doesn't it?)

@PanthersDrafter

Carolina Panthers: Fantasy Football Projections Week 4

I really think that this past week was a fantasy. But not a good fantasy because the Pittsburgh Steelers destroyed the Carolina Panthers. The Steelers came into our house and pushed us around, but they didn’t just push us, they ran over us and threw around us. I just hope that when we go visit Steve Smith we show him some southern hospitality. Sorry I had to do some complaining before moving forward.

My fantasy football team is 3-0! This week is tough though because five of the players on my team have a bye week. If you are wondering who I have, I have three Broncos (Peyton Manning, Montee Ball, Emmanuel Sanders) in my starting lineup. This bye week gives me the opportunity to plug in Kelvin Benjamin who is on my bench. He should have another strong week!


What is going to happen in fantasy football this week for the Carolina Panthers?

My Week Four Projections:
·        Cam Newton: 18 pts (250 passing yards, 2 touchdowns)
·        Kelvin Benjamin: 15 pts (90 yards, 1 Touchdown)
·        DeAngelo Williams: 16 pts (100 yards, 1 Touchdown)
·        Greg Olsen: 12 pts (60 yards, 1 Touchdown)
·        Panthers Defense:  13 pts

My week four recommendations:
You must start Greg Olsen and Kelvin Benjamin this week and every week. The Panthers defense should rebound and play well against the Ravens. DeAngelo Williams is the only healthy running back on the Panthers, so he will get a lot of touches, and should rack up some points. Cam Newton is still injured and I don’t know how well the offensive line will protect him on Sunday. I would start another running back over Newton this week.


Week Three Review:
The biggest surprise to me this week was how bad the Carolina Panthers defense played. They allowed 37 points to the Pittsburgh Steelers, who could not score a touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens. This will not happen again to the Panthers, keep them in your starting lineup. Cam Newton was on the ground a lot and did not have time to make many throws. His stats were not strong due to the lack of protection from the offensive line and no run support. My predictions for Kelvin Benjamin and Greg Olsen were fairly accurate. You can count on them to continue to average at least 10.0 fantasy points per week. Do not start the Panthers running backs until they are a sure thing. Do not waste a fantasy pickup on anyone in their backfield.

What were my week three fantasy football projections?
·        Cam Newton: 20 pts (250 passing yards, 20 rushing yards, 2 touchdowns)
·        Kelvin Benjamin: 13 pts (70 yards, 1 Touchdown)
·        DeAngelo Williams or Jonathan Stewart: 15 pts (90 yards, 1 Touchdown)
·        Mike Tolbert: 6 pts (1 touchdown, or 60 yards)
·        Greg Olsen: 10 pts (40 yards, 1 Touchdown)
·        Panthers Defense:  12 pts

Week Three Results (According to ESPN):
·        Cam Newton: 12 pts (250 Yards, 1 Touchdown)
·        Kelvin Benjamin: 17 pts (8 receptions, 115 yards, 1 Touchdown)
·        DeAngelo Williams: DNP
·        Mike Tolbert: 2 pts (4 rushing yards)
·        Greg Olsen: 12 pts (5 receptions, 69 yards, 1 Touchdown)
·        Panthers Defense: -7 pts

Are you starting any Carolina Panthers this week?


Follow me on Twitter @JayRay19