Eugene Robinson: Carolina Panthers a 12-4 team


Former Panthers Safety Eugene Robinson talked to Scott Fowler of the Charlotte Observer in a Q+A session earlier today. The key thing that stuck out that interview was Robinson’s prediction that the Panthers would go 12-4 on next year’s schedule. Off hand that seemed kind of bold for the team that fought their way into the playoffs at 7-8-1.

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Still it bore looking at. Which games were the four losses that Robinson intended? Were there more losses on the schedule that others might point out. It would take looking at the Panthers schedule to find out.

First the Panthers lost the NFC North and the AFC North while gaining the NFC East and AFC South. That means the Panthers lost playoff teams Detroit, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Cincinnati and gained playoff teams Dallas and Indianapolis. Green Bay remained on the schedule because division winners play each other. That would appear to be a gain of 1.5 wins if the only thing that was important was playoff teams.

That would only bring the seven win Panthers to around nine or ten wins. So where are the other two wins that Robinson projects?

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  • The first thing that should be noted are the road games against Playoff teams. By all rights, Seattle and Dallas should be losses. Dallas may not have DeMarco Murray, but they still have the offensive line.

    The Panthers split against the Saints and the Falcons last year. That seems likely to happen again considering how close the teams played each other. So that would be two more losses on the schedule. The Panthers swept the Bucs last year, and should do it again this year as Jameis Winston works out the kinks.

    So that alone brings us to four losses. That means that Robinson believes that the Panthers will beat the Packers, Eagles, and Colts at home. Or else he believes that the Panthers will sweep the Falcons. That is a possibility given that the Panthers completed a playoff run at the end of the season on the Falcons’ field. The Panthers will likely be playing the Falcons the first time coming off a two game losing streak, giving the Falcons little motivational edge.

    So while Robinson is calling 12-4, I am looking more at a 10-6 season with a loss to either Green Bay or the Colts. I have a sneaking suspicion that we will lose one that we would normally win. If you would like another opinion, look at Josh Powell’s piece on the Panthers schedule below.

    Next: Predicting the 2015 Carolina Panthers Season