Eleven weeks into the 2012 season, it seemed as though all hope was lost for the Carolina Panthers.
They were sitting at the bottom of the NFL standings with a 2-9 record, and questions about Cam Newton's maturity were swarming. Suddenly, the Panthers turned things around after this point, and what looked to be a lost season for a weak team turned into a solid year for a team that was simply on fire by season's end.
The Panthers ended the season with a 7-9 record, finishing off with an enormous amount of momentum. Cam Newton played especially well down the final stretch of the season, which enabled Carolina to pull off a couple of huge confidence-boosting wins late in the season.
As Carolina begins the offseason, no Panthers player should be hanging their head. The team is still in somewhat of a rebuilding mode, but the future looks ever so bright, and here are five reasons why Carolina Panthers fans should be looking forward to a promising 2013 season.