If the Carolina Panthers didn’t have to play the Saints this season they would probably be waiting to host a Divisional Round game. But the Panthers did play New Orleans three times and lost them all for exactly half of their loss total this season. The last one, a 31-26 defeat on Sunday, knocked Carolina out of the postseason tournament.
The Panthers’ defense was pretty good this season and they allowed more than 30 points in a game just three times, all to the Saints. And after failing to stop Drew Brees and the Saints offense this season, coordinator Steve Wilks could be off to a head coaching gig elsewhere. That’s just the start of what is sure to be a whirlwind offseason for the franchise. Not necessarily on the field as plenty remains. Ron Rivera is bracing for the loss of Wilks and said he has some candidates in-house to become the team’s third defensive coordinator in three seasons. The team is now in the market for an offensive coordinator after Mike Shula was fired unexpectedly.
But the biggest change is coming at the top after owner Jerry Richardson decided he’s going to sell the club after allegations of workplace misconduct. The team doesn’t have a permanent GM either, but Marty Hurney is in place to help the transition. One thing the club doesn’t have to worry about is Ron Rivera, who was penned to a two-year extension. In his seven seasons with the club, Rivera has a record of 64-47-1 with four playoff appearances in the last five years and three NFC South titles.
2017 Record: 11-6
2017 ATS Record: 10-7
2017 Over/Under Total Record: 10-7
Current Super Bowl Odds: N/A
Current Odds to Win NFC: N/A
Current Odds to Win NFC South: N/A
Wild Card Round: Saints 31, Panthers 26
ATS Result: Panthers +6.5
Over/Under Total Result: Over 47.5
It was the best game of the Wild Card Round, but the Panthers failed to undo the hex the Saints had on them this year. Newton threw for 349 yards, his second-highest total in a game this season, but the Panthers failed on three of their four red zone trips and missed a field goal. Leaving those points on the field proved fatal. Newton’s TD pass to Christian McCaffrey with four minutes left sliced the deficit to 31-26 and Carolina got the ball back after a fourth down stop. But Newton was forced into a grounding penalty and sacked on fourth down to end the comeback attempt.
Week 17: Falcons 22, Panthers 10
ATS Result: Falcons -5
Over/Under Total Result: Under 44.5
Carolina tied the game 7-7 on a Newton scoring pass late in the first half, but he was shut down for a majority of the contest, throwing for just 180 yards while being picked off three times. Jonathan Stewart wasn’t around to help the ground game and the Panthers produced just 248 total yards. The defense kept Matt Ryan in check, but five second half Matt Bryant field goals proved to be difference in a second straight cover loss.
Week 16: Panthers 22, Buccaneers 19
ATS Result: Buccaneers +10
Over/Under Total Result: Under 46.5
Carolina trailed for most of the second half and didn’t score an offensive touchdown until the final seconds when Newton gave his team the lead with a short run. Kawann Short sealed the outcome with a strip-sack of Jameis Winston on the ensuing possession that was recovered by Julius Peppers, but the Panthers didn’t come close to covering, losing ATS for the first time in three games.
Week 15: Panthers 31, Packers 24
ATS Result: Panthers -3
Over/Under Total Result: Over 46.5
Cam Newton threw four touchdown passes and the defense picked off three Aaron Rodgers offerings while creating a fourth turnover to squelch Green Bay’s comeback bid. Newton’s final TD pass gave the Panthers a 31-17, but Rodgers got the Pack within a touchdown and had the ball in Carolina territory after recovering the onside kick. James Bradberry forced a fumble and Carolina recovered, securing the Panthers second straight ATS win.
Week 14: Panthers 31, Vikings 24
ATS Result: Panthers +2.5
Over/Under Total Result: Over 40.5
Jonathan Stewart scored three times, including the game-winning score with just under two minutes left to give the Panthers the ATS win. Carolina blew an 11-point fourth quarter lead, but the defense came up with a big stop, holding the Vikings to a game-tying field goal on a possession that started at the Panthers 6 following a Newton pick. The game-winning drive was aided by a long Newton run.
Week 13: Saints 31, Panthers 21
ATS Result: Saints -5.5
Over/Under Total Result: Over 48
Carolina couldn’t slow down Drew Brees and the duo of Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara, failing to cover the 5.5-point spread in the loss. Down by a touchdown in the second quarter, punter Matt Palardy fumbled the ball and the Saints recovered, turning the miscue into a touchdown a few plays later for a 21-7 lead. The Panthers failed to convert a fourth-down deep in Saints territory early in the fourth and New Orleans cashed that in for three-points increasing its lead.
Week 12: Panthers 35, Jets 27
ATS Result: Panthers -5.5
Over/Under Total Result: Over 39.5
The defense came up huge on back to back possessions to help pull out the victory. The Jets had a first down at Carolina’s 1-yard line, but had to settle for a field goal and a 20-18 lead. Luke Kuechly returned a Wes Horton strip-sack for a touchdown on the next drive and the Panthers reclaimed the lead. They added to it on a nifty punt return by Kaelin Clay and held on, getting a late Graham Gano field goal to cover the 5.5-point spread.
Week 11: BYE
Week 10: Panthers 45, Dolphins 21
ATS Result: Panthers -8
Over/Under Total Result: Over 38.5
Leading just 10-7 late in the first half, the Panthers got a key interception from Luke Kuechly to turn the tide. His pick set up Newton’s first scoring pass and Carolina extended its lead to 10 points at halftime. It was an onslaught after that and the Panthers easily covered the spread for a third straight game while surpassing the total on their own.
Week 9: Panthers 20, Falcons 17
ATS Result: Panthers +3
Over/Under Total Result: Under 42
The Panthers were down 10-0 before showing signs of life. They scored two touchdowns late in the first half to take the lead. McCaffrey scored his first rush TD of the year and Mike Adams picked off Matt Ryan on the next drive, setting up Newton’s 9-yard run. Carolina extended its lead with a pair of Graham Gano field goals in the third and held on with the help of a Julio Jones drop to post its second straight ATS win.
Week 8: Panthers 17, Buccaneers 3
ATS Result: Panthers +1.5
Over/Under Total Result: Under 46
Defense dominated leading to a win for under bettors, and it was Carolina that turned in the better effort. Up 10-3 in the fourth, Mike Adams picked off Jameis Winston and Newton cashed in a few plays later with a touchdown pass. Kuechly thwarted the next Tampa drive with his pick, allowing Carolina to get the outright victory.
Week 7: Bears 17, Panthers 3
ATS Result: Bears +2.5
Over/Under Total Result: Under 39.5
The Panthers held the Bears to 153 total yards, ran nearly twice as many offensive plays. and possessed the ball for almost 39 minutes, yet all they had to show for it was a Graham Gano field goal. Two costly turnovers led directly to touchdowns and the Panthers couldn’t get anything going against a stiff Chicago front, leading to a second straight outright loss.
Week 6: Eagles 28, Panthers 23
ATS Result: Eagles +3
Over/Under Total Result: Over 44
The Panthers did cash the over for a fourth time with a Newton touchdown pass midway through the fourth quarter, pulling them within 28-23. After forcing a punt and getting the ball back a few minutes later, Newton tossed his third interception of the game. Carolina got the ball back again with two minutes remaining, but Newton couldn’t pull out a game-winning drive as the Panthers failed to cover the 3-point spread.
Week 5: Panthers 27, Lions 24
ATS Result: Panthers +2
Over/Under Total Result: Over 42
Newton’s three touchdown passes and a Graham Gano field goal fueled a 24-0 scoring run that gave the Panthers an insurmountable lead. They did have to withstand a pair of Matthew Stafford fourth quarter TD passes and Cam’s biggest pass play came with two minutes left when he converted a third-and-9 with a 17-yard strike to Kelvin Benjamin to close out Carolina’s second straight ATS win.
Week 4: Panthers 33, Patriots 30
ATS Result: Panthers +9
Over/Under Total Result: Over 48
Newton had a breakout game leading the Panthers to the outright win as 9-point dogs. He threw the ball well and hit his open receivers, while running the ball with authority. We hadn’t seen this from him in the first three games. Carolina did surrender a 14-point fourth quarter lead, but Newton, with the help of two defensive penalties, drove his team for the game-winning field goal, leaving no time on the clock for Tom Brady to work his magic.
Week 3: Saints 34, Panthers 13
ATS Result: Saints +5
Over/Under Total Result: Over 46.5
Another poor outing from Newton and a defense that finally caved was enough to give the Panthers their second straight ATS loss. After surrendering a total of six points in their first two games, the Panthers gave up a touchdown on the Saints first drive and watched Drew Brees throw three TDs as Carolina fell from the unbeaten ranks. A late Saints touchdown was enough to cash the over for the first time.
Week 2: Panthers 9, Bills 3
ATS Result: Bills +6.5
Over/Under Total Result: Under 43
It wasn’t pretty but the Panthers got the victory, though they failed to cover the 6.5-point spread. After dominating the Bills all afternoon, the outcome still hung in the balance. With time running out, the Bills misfired on a deep ball that went off the fingertips of the intended receiver inside the Carolina 5-yard line. With defense ruling the field, this one easily cashed the under for the second consecutive game.
Week 1: Panthers 23, 49ers 3
ATS Result: Panthers -4.5
Over/Under Total Result: Under 45.5
The Panthers got exactly what they wanted out of their season-opening win. First, they won the game. Second, Newton was able to chisel off the rust from his non-participation during the preseason. And third, the defense and run game destroyed the Niners. Granted, San Francisco has a huge hill to climb, but things couldn’t have gone better for Carolina. The Panthers turned two turnovers into touchdowns, stopped the Niners on fourth down twice in the first half and led 23-0 before allowing a field goal.
Preseason Record: 2-2
ATS Record: 2-2
Over/Under Total Record: 3-1
The Panthers got off to a horrible start last season and their season was pretty much over by the time they reached the bye in Week 7. They opened with a loss to the Broncos and dropped five of their first six games, failing to cover the spread in each loss. The only victory in that span was a 46-27 trouncing of the Niners in Charlotte. And given their awful record last year, the Panthers can’t overlook San Francisco.
Week 1: Carolina at 49ers, Sunday, Sept. 10, 4:25 p.m. ET – FOX
Week 2: Carolina vs. Bills, Sunday, Sept. 17, 1 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 3: Carolina vs. Saints, Sunday, Sept. 24, 1 p.m. ET – FOX
Week 4: Carolina at Patriots, Sunday, Oct. 1, 1 p.m. ET – FOX
Week 5: Carolina at Lions, Sunday, Oct. 8, 1 p.m. ET – FOX
Week 6: Carolina vs. Eagles, Thursday, Oct. 12, 8:25 p.m. ET – CBS/NFL Network
Week 7: Carolina at Bears, Sunday, Oct. 22, 1 p.m. ET – FOX
Week 8: Carolina at Buccaneers, Sunday, Oct. 29,1 p.m. ET – FOX
Week 9: Carolina vs. Falcons, Sunday Nov. 5, 1 p.m. ET – FOX
Week 10: Carolina vs. Dolphins, Monday, Nov. 13, 8:30 p.m. ET – ESPN
Week 11: Bye Week
Week 12: Carolina at Jets, Sunday, Nov. 26, 1 p.m. ET – FOX
Week 13: Carolina at Saints, Sunday, Dec. 3, 1 p.m. ET – FOX
Week 14: Carolina vs. Vikings, Sunday, Dec. 10, 1 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 15: Carolina vs. Packers, Sunday, Dec. 17, 1 p.m. ET – FOX
Week 16: Carolina vs. Buccaneers, Sunday, Dec. 24, 1 p.m. ET – FOX
Week 17: Carolina at Falcons, Sunday, Dec. 31, 1 p.m. ET – FOX
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