Three Reasons the Carolina Panthers Can Win the NFC South in 2012: Fan’s Opinion

Cam Newton brings a whole lot of confidence to fans of the Carolina Panthers. Coming in and having the best rookie season in NFL history will do that for a quarterback and a community. There are plenty of reasons for us to be confident moving forward. In fact, I think that the Carolina Panthers might make the jump and end up NFC South Champions once again. I can even give you three solid reasons why.

Cam Newton is no longer a rookie

Some say that a sophomore slump is legitimate and that Cam Newton will struggle in 2012. Those same people said he could not play in the NFL.

We saw how that turned out.

I think that Cam Newton will be at an even higher level with some experience and the confidence that comes with that. He showed what he can do as a rookie getting his feet wet. In 2012 that will translate into wins and an NFC South Championship.

The Panthers defense will be much improved

When you take out players like Thomas Davis and Jon Beason, your defense is going to suffer mightily. These guys were lost almost right away in 2011. Many other important players spent time out of the lineup as well, making the defense a patchwork defense at best. That unlucky set of circumstances will be a benefit in 2012. Many players got their feet wet and gained experience. That, along with the returning starters, will improve the defense in 2012.

The New Orleans Saints have major league distractions

Not to dismiss the Atlanta Falcons and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but the Saints are the major competition for the NFC South title in 2012. I can see Atlanta making noise as well, but if someone concerns me it is the Saints. Given the talent that they have, the Saints are going to be dangerous regardless of distractions.

Despite the talent, however, the Saints have some pretty serious repercussions yet to be announced for the whole Bounty Scandal that has been all over the news. If the player's punishments end up as harsh as Sean Paytons, then the Saints could struggle mightily this year. If the Saints are struggling, the Panthers will have a window to step directly through. I think that is exactly what will happen in 2012.

*Southern is a huge Carolina Panthers fan that feels like Cam Newton will lead them to victory in a Super Bowl very soon. Steve Smith re-signing has made him a very happy fan.

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Updated Sunday, Apr 15, 2012