Nov. 11, 2016
Next Four Games Will Define Carolina Panthers Season
After starting 1-5, the Carolina Panthers have rebounded with a two-game win streak to get to 3-5 and somewhat back into the NFC playoff picture. However the next four games are going to make or make the Panthers 2016 season, it's without a doubt the most important four game stretch in the season.
First up, Sunday November 13 with a home game against the Kansas City Chiefs. Most people will probably give the Chiefs the advantage in this game. However I think with the Panthers new found pass rush in 2016 (12 sacks in the last two games), Carolina has the defense and the talent to beat the Chiefs at home.
Next up will be a very quick turn around as the Panthers will host NFC South division rival New Orleans Saints on Thursday Night Football. The Saints beat the Panthers 41-38 earlier this year in New Orleans, a game in which the Panthers had chances to win. At home, under the prime time lights, again with the pass rush finally coming back to life, I will give the Panthers an advantage here.
Then comes possibly the Panthers two toughest games in 2016. A two-game west coast trip against the Oakland Raiders and the Seattle Seahawks. A few weeks ago I honestly thought the Seahawks would be the toughest game of theses two, however now I believe it will be very difficult for the Panthers to win in Oakland. For Carolina to come away from Oakland with a victory, they must play their best defensive game they have played all year, and probably will need to get close to the eight sacks they got on Carson Palmer a couple weeks ago.
The Panthers proved last season that they can go into Seattle and win, and I still believe the Panthers can do this. So if the Panthers can go 3-1 in this crucial four game stretch, they will be in great shape (6-6) to make that final four game push to a playoff spot. The Panthers November and December record under Ron Rivera and Cam Newton? A very healthy 31-11. The Panthers find a way to win in the two most crucial months, so don't count them out just yet.