Carolina is an 18 to 1 long shot to win it all this year. The Panthers almost crashed the party last year after a horrible start. The momentum could carry over to this year and help kick start the campaign.
Jake Delhomme is the real deal and last year might be a blessing in disguise as far as the maturation of him becoming an elite quarterback.
Picking up Mathis in the 3rd round will help the offensive line. Adding the bruising Shelton from Louisville will add insurance behind Davis. Foster will be healthy to add the extra dimension again this year out of the backfield.
It will not affect the outcome this year but Lefors could be the next Jim Zorn. He is fast and very accurate when throwing the ball. The Panthers will not wow you on offense but if they run the ball like they did two years ago, this unit could be very special. They need Smith to come back 100% to really have the chance to go all the way.
The defense will be aggressive and should be able to put the offense in scoring position with the ability to cause turnovers. They must be able to shut down the run better than they did last year.
The rookie Davis will be a stud no matter where they line him up. He will add another playmaker to the defensive side of the ball.
Carolina should be 7-4 or 6-5 going into December.
They host the Falcons and the Buccaneers the first two weeks in December, which will decide how much of a factor all three teams will be at the end. The Panthers turn around and travel to Atlanta the last weekend of the regular season, which will probably decide one or two playoff spots.
Some consider the Vikings a favorite more than a long shot and we would have to agree.
Getting rid of perhaps the best WR in the league could actually help this team make the jump to the elite class. Mike Williams was available but they chose the big play ability of Troy Williamson instead. Since we are based in Reno we really liked the move because this shows the confidence the organization has in Nate Burleson.
(UNR Alumni) Besides that, the move makes sense, because Burleson and Marcus Robinson are good possession receivers and Williamson provides the big punch. Adding Taylor through free agency will provide depth along with hold over Campbell. The RB position is one of the best even without Smith.
The Vikings added depth through the free agent signings and the Draft. The defense should be better and if the special teams can hold there own they should be in the mix at the end.
If the Vikings can leave Green Bay with a 6-4 record than they should make the playoffs. If they are under .500 after this game then they could be in trouble. They have some tough games in December and need to have some room for error down the stretch.
This is Culpepper’s team now and there is no Randy to blame for their short fall. This is a make or break year for Coach Tice. The odds are at 12 to 1. Besides the Eagles there are no favorites that have been there more than the Vikings. This might be the best bet on the board as far as getting great value.
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