NFL Power Rankings: Panthers Bounce Around
Dominating on defense the Carolina Panthers rebounded in the Week 15 NFL Power Rankings…
After being embarrassed in prime time the Carolina Panthers defense stepped up in a big way on Sunday. As the offense continued to struggle, the defense contained San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers controlling the line of scrimmage. Forcing five turnovers, all from Rivers, the defense provided enough opportunities to notch another victory for Carolina.
As the season draws to a close the NFL Power Rankings begin to reveal the true colors of each team. All season Carolina has moved around being ranked as high as fifth before falling while the season progressed, bouncing around with sporadic wins along the way.
NFL.com – 22 (+4)
Fine defensive performance turned in by the Panthers on Sunday, sans leader Luke Kuechly, who was still in concussion protocol. The pass rush and secondary worked in concert to get Philip Rivers’ bolo tie all in a wad. At this point, Carolina isn’t playing for anything but pride, but it didn’t look like it Sunday. OK, OK — I’ll temper the enthusiasm. The offense stunk up the joint most of the afternoon. Graham Gano enjoyed himself a heckuva day, though. Alright, I’ll stop. Hey, this is a 5-8 team; I’m doing the best I can here.
ESPN – 22 (+1)
QB Cam Newton has completed 43.0 percent of his passes the past four weeks, but the Panthers are 2-2 in that stretch and averaging a respectable 22.5 points per game. Imagine what the Panthers could be doing with Newton playing at even an average level. Carolina heads to Washington for Monday Night Football in Week 15.
Dec 11, 2016; Charlotte, NC, USA; San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) gets sacked by Carolina Panthers defensive end Mario Addison (97) for a safety in the fourth quarter at Bank of America Stadium. The Panthers defeated the Chargers 28-16. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
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CBS – 19 (+7)
Where has that showing against the Chargers been all season? They looked good on Sunday.
SPORTS ILLUSTRATED – 22 (+3)
There remains a scenario in which the entire NFC South finishes 8–8, so if you’re a Team Chaos supporter that’s the spot for you. Otherwise, the Panthers don’t have much left to play for aside from pride. There’s no getting around what a rapid fall from grace Carolina has undergone since Super Bowl 50 kicked off.
Following two solid performances the makeshift offensive line seems to be serving amicably. Coupled with an impressive defensive performance minus linebacker Luke Kuechly, fans of the Carolina Panthers are now relegated to “what ifs” had this team gotten their act together sooner.