(Cam Newton photo courtesy of the Carolina Panthers)
Talk of Fame Network
The Carolina Panthers barely qualified for the playoffs a year ago, winning the NFC South despite a 7-8-1 record.
Listeners and readers of the Talk of Fame Network don’t believe the Panthers will be as fortunate this time around. In last week’s poll, we asked our followers which division champion in 2014 is going to fall out of the playoffs in 2015. The Panthers received 37.8 percent of the vote to edge the defending AFC West champion Denver Broncos at 35.6 percent.
The NFC East champion Cowboys and AFC South champion Colts received 11.1 percent of the votes apiece, with the AFC North champion Pittsburgh Steelers barely registering in fifth place with 4.4 percent of the vote.
The Panthers allowed more points (364) than any of the eight division champions in 2014 and finished with a pedestrian offense, ranking 16th in the NFL. In a pass-happy league, Carolina’s Cam Newton ranked 26th in the NFL in passing.
Somebody’s going to fall out of the playoffs. Someone always does. There have been 112 division champions since the NFL realigned in 2002 and less than half (49) repeated as champions the following year. So look for the Panthers to tumble in 2015.