Carolina Panthers – YES +155
The Panthers come into this year coming off an 11-5 season and a loss in the wild card round of the playoffs. They had a pretty tough schedule and beat a lot of good teams in the regular season. Their offense has been able to run the ball well and their defense was very efficient in stopping the run and pass. This year they brought players in to make their passing game more effective with the signing of Torrey Smith and drafting DJ Moore. They also signed former Broncos RB CJ Anderson. These new targets for Cam Newton join TE Greg Olsen and WR Devin Funchess to make a great looking offense on paper. They also added offensive coordinator Norv Turner who is highly regarded as one of the better offensive minds in football. The offense should do very well with this collection of talent and coaching. The defense is led by stalwarts Thomas Davis and Luke Kuechly. One reason the Panthers have low expectations is their former defensive coordinator Steve Wilks is now coaching the Arizona Cardinals. He is being replaced by their former defensive line coach Eric Washington. Their defense still remains talented at all three levels. I do not see their defense taking a major step back but I definitely see their offense taking a major step forward. This year looks like a year they could be competing for the Super Bowl again and Cam Newton could be looking at another league MVP trophy.