The Carolina Panthers have always been a defense-first team. You have to when your "star" quarterbacks are Kerry Collins and Jake Delhomme. The Panthers have relied on big-name defenders making plays.
From Sam Mills to Julius Peppers, the Carolina Panthers' goal has always been to just allow less points than the other team, not outscore them.
This year was supposed to be the return of that. With the offensive side of the ball seemingly headed in the right direction with the additions of Cam Newton, Greg Olsen and Jeremy Shockey, the defense, with all its stars re-signed, should have been ready to make a leap to a top-10 defense.
Unfortunately, from what we have seen so far, the Panthers have regressed but for no real reason. Thomas Davis is back and looks stronger than ever. Charles Johnson is back in blue and black and virtually every key piece of their defense is back.
So why is it not working? Let's take a look.