The Carolina Panthers punched their ticket to Super Bowl 50 after they tore apart the Arizona Cardinals 49-15 in the NFC Championship Game last Sunday. On top of that, they became the first team to win the NFC South Title three consecutive years in a row.
With that being said, the New Orleans Saints could be in for a rude awakening if they do not address those key areas on the team that needs improvement in the offseason. The reason is that Panthers quarterback Cam Newton is just getting started in regards to his dominance in the NFC. In 2015, Newton and the Panthers swept the season series with the Saints 2-0.
In both the games, the Saints were, at least, one play away from defeating the Panthers. Out of all the teams in the NFC South that the Panthers faced this season, the Saints were the team that was willing to go toe to toe with the NFC representative in the Super Bowl. However; coming up short against the Panthers will not cut it in the future.
Everyone had their doubts about the Panthers being a serious contender in the NFC this season because they lost their deep threat in wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin for the rest of the season after he suffered a torn ACL in training camp. As long as the Panthers had Cam Newton as their starting quarterback and that tenacious defense the compliment him, they would have enough to conquer the NFC South and the rest of the conference.
Newton situation is somewhat similar to Drew Brees when it comes to working with receivers that nobody has ever heard of before. The only difference is that Newton has a great defense to work with on the other side and Brees does not. Those unknown receivers help to the Panthers outstanding record of 15-1 this season.
If this type of dominance by the Panthers continues in the NFC South without the Saints making the proper adjustments to their roster, we may witness something similar to how the New England Patriots controlled the AFC East for all of these years. Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan is a decent quarterback, but he has shown that he cannot lead his team to the promise land when it matters the most.
Jameis Winston and the Buccaneers are now under a new regime after they fired head coach Lovie Smith a few weeks ago. Both of those ball clubs have far better talent on their roster right now to compete with Carolina than the Saints do. However, the Saints were the team that almost swept the season series with the Panthers this season.
Sean Payton and the Saints front office must strike gold in this year’s NFL Draft because the final remaining years in the Drew Brees Era will depend on it. If not, it could be another long season for the men that wear the Black and Gold.
The days of NFC South division winner from the previous season regressing in the following season are over. Cam Newton will only get better as a passer which will be very scary for the Who Dat Nation.
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