Daily Links and Banter for July 16th
Good morning, just a few more days until training camps get underway and the official dead period of sports will be over. The Carolina Panthers have reloaded the receiving corps and offensive line, but how does the gaming community view the upgrades to the team?
The team ratings for players for the latest edition of the Madden Football franchise were released Monday and they were full of surprises and head-scratchers, to say the least.
While it was no surprise that Luke Kuechly was ranked at 98 overall, it was a surprise was that Bobby Wagner, Seattle Seahawks linebacker, was ranked ahead of him and is one of only four players to receive the coveted 99 overall player rating in the video game.
While both were fairly even in terms of turnovers forced, Kuechly seems to be the better prospect on paper. However, even though he had more individual tackles this past season than Wagner, Kuechly was still ranked lower than Wagner during this iteration of the Madden franchise.
Another issue that we have here at Old North Banter is how low Cam Newton’s overall player rating is. While Cam is still in the top-10 in terms of quarterbacks in the game, he is currently listed at an 84 overall. We feel that his rating is tarnished a bit due to the team’s poor play following his shoulder injury after the Pittsburgh game last season.
In some positives, both Donte Jackson and Curtis Samuel were tied for the title of the fastest Panther as both registered a speed rating of 95. Now while that’s a race during training camp that we’d all like to watch, most of us are going to be focused on Samuel’s production this season as injuries have hampered him his first two seasons.
Only time will tell if the Panthers will be able to exceed expectations this season, but if the recent trend of having winning records in odd-numbered years continues, the Panthers should be in a prime spot to make the postseason during the 2019 season.
So far the main storyline out of the backfield will be if Christian McCaffrey can continue his solid ascendence as the best running back from a solid 2017 running back class. Much like the quarterback position, however, the real battle will be who can fill out the number two slot on the running back depth chart.
The race will more than likely come down to a major competition between Cameron Artis-Payne, the longest-tenured running back on the roster at the moment, and Jordan Scarlett, a rookie running back who has already taken on some of the best running defenses that college had to offer in the SEC.
The NC State Wolfpack lost it’s starting quarterback and its two best receivers to the NFL Draft this season. Beyond that, the team lost plenty on the offensive line and will now have a new offensive coordinator to try and rebuild was some considered the Wolfpack’s best offense since the days Phillip Rivers was still enrolled in Raleigh.
I’m honestly projecting about a 5-7 season for the Wolfpack this season and with a new athletic director on at the helm for NC State, Doeren could finally start feeling the pressure and hot seat if he can’t get the offense rebuilt, and fast.