Carolina Panthers 2011 NFL Schedule: Will Cam Newton Win a Game with Panthers?
The 2011 NFL schedule will be released tonight, with all 32 teams finding out when they will play their 16 regular season games.
Well, maybe. After all, we are still in a lockout, so who knows how many games will be played in 2011? Who knows if we will even have a 2011 NFL season?
So tell me again why this means anything at all, considering the circumstances?
Regardless, the league will release the schedule for next season, although we already know the 16 opponents of all 32 teams. What we don't know is when they will play and which teams will dominate the primetime schedule next season.
The Carolina Panthers may have the No. 1 overall pick in next week's 2011 NFL Draft, but will anyone be able to help them win even one game next season?
The leading candidate for the Panthers to select remains Auburn University quarterback Cam Newton with the first pick. But when he stares down the opponents that Carolina will have to face next season, he may be praying that they do not draft him.
Carolina has six games against fellow NFC South rivals. That means a home and away game against each the Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. That could very well be 0-6 right there, and that is just within the division.
They also play four games against the NFC North. We know that they cannot beat the Green Bay Packers at home or the Chicago Bears on the road, but what about their other two contests? I doubt that they can defeat the Detroit Lions one the road if Matthew Stafford is healthy, and even the Minnesota Vikings at home could be tough, especially if the team acquires a quarterback. If Favre comes back, I'll give Carolina the edge. But for now, that could possibly be 0-4.
Finally, the Panthers have four games against the AFC South and two against random NFC teams. Starting with the AFC South, they have home games with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans. Both should be good enough to get past the Panthers at home, although the Titans still need a quarterback. On the road, Carolina will have to take on the Indianapolis Colts and Houston Texans. Judging by current rosters, that could very well be another 0-4.
As for the final two NFC teams, that may be where the Panthers finally catch a break. They play the Washington redskins, who are the weakest of the NFC East teams, as well as the Arizona Cardinals, arguable the worst of the NFC West teams. Washington is a mess in general with Daniel Snyder and Mike Shanahan running things, and Arizona needs a quarterback in the worst way. But can you really say that the Panthers are better than either opponent, regardless of who they take at No. 1?
Judging by 2010 records, the Panthers have the hardest schedule in the league next season. If you were Newton, or any other potential draftee for that matter, would you still want to hear your name called first on draft night next Thursday?
Not unless Carolina trades the pick.
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