By Zach Gilliland
We know the Carolina Panthers won the NFC South and secured the second seed in the NFC, but one question still remains.
How good is this Carolina team?
The answer is very good, making it a good team to bet on for your nfl odds.
The Panthers have a realistic shot at winning the NFC because of Cam Newton's leadership and their outstanding defense.
Even with wins over New England, San Francisco, and New Orleans the Panthers still have doubters who question the team's legitimacy of winning the Super Bowl.
Maybe this is because of Cam Newton's inexperience, or maybe even a lack of belief in Ron Rivera as a head coach.
This team is legit and has the numbers to back it up. The defense, led by Greg Hardy and Luke Kuechly, has allowed the second-least points per game in the NFL. Hardy is third in the league with 15 sacks, while Kuechly is fourth in tackles with 156.
The defense also has other playmakers that are important like Thomas Davis, Charles Johnson, and Star Lotulelei.
Cam Newton's maturity level has sky-rocketed from last season. His leadership has been a key for the Panthers getting to 12-4 this season, and his 30 total touchdowns hasn't hurt either.
Moving forward, I believe the Panthers can compete with anyone in the NFL because the defense takes pressure off Cam Newton. The young quarterback isn't expected to carry the team on his shoulders. If he can play decent and not turn the ball over, the defense will allow the Panthers to contend for a Super Bowl.
On January 12, the Panthers will play in their first playoff game since 2009 when they play host to the winner of San Francisco-Green Bay.
This season has already been a success for the Panthers winning 12 games, but I'm sure Cam Newton and company are not content with stopping the surprise season now.
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