The Carolina Panthers have experienced a magical season thus far winning an NFC record 18 straight games and starting 2015 with 14 straight victories! Despite all of that we are still disrespected by many in the sports world, but that is nothing new for this team and fan base. As coach Ron Rivera put it, we’ve crashed the party this season, forcing people to pay attention and praise what we’ve done on the gridiron! Here are my top five breakout performers for the Carolina Panthers!
He biggest key to the season success is the field general Cam Newton putting up gaudy videogame game like numbers making him the front-runner for the MVP award. He has accounted for 41 total touchdowns 33 through the air and eight on the ground; making defenses look silly and giving opposing coaches major headaches week after week.
It’s simple this team will go as far as Newton will take us because there’s been so many instances this season where he has just said get on my back! The Seattle game, leading four 80-yard touchdown drives against the Legion of doom to finally get the Seattle monkey off our back and that was just the beginning. More recently against the Giants when we blew a 35-7 lead and you saw Newton on the sideline when it was tied up nod like I got this. He did as we drove down for the game-winning field goal.
Lastly, he’s had three games where he’s thrown five touchdowns, those are just a few defining moments proving he can do it all when leading the Carolina Panthers to victories. Mind you he is doing this without his leading wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin, who tore his ACL in the preseason; Newton has made us only wonder what if and made the best of this unfortunate blow this team suffered.
Newton makes everyone around him better and after we suffered our first loss of the year he didn’t make excuses we just got our butts kicked and he was the first to admit that. That’s what a leader is made of understanding the bigger picture and just working to get better and own up to not playing to their abilities. I can’t wait to see what we can do when the games matter most I just have that feeling that this is our year and wouldn’t want anyone else leading the squad. He’s always been a freak on the football field, but this year he has raised his abilities to a new level it’s been amazing to witness.
Ted Ginn Jr
The person that has reaped the most benefits from Cam Newton’s magical season is wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr! Ginn was coming off a lost season with the Arizona Cardinals a season in which he admitted he was chasing the check; it was the season he was not used at all in the offense just as a special team guy. Ginn was looking for a fresh start and was reunited with the Queen city and Cam Newton where he was most productive. This season he has raised the bar so high recording career high 10 touchdowns get this, he had 11 total coming into the season.
He wears his PF Flyers very well; he takes the top off the defense. He has become Newton’s favorite wide receiver target and after the loss of Kelvin Benjamin someone had to step up and Ginn certainly has; despite critical drops he has had a short memory in maintaining his confidence throughout the year. It’s been amazing to see the maturation between quarterback and wide receiver this season, allowing special plays to happen all over the field. I’m glad he came back to the Queen City don’t leave, this is where you belong keep it going!
I’ve said before, this was one of the biggest steals for the Panthers this off-season another diamond in the rough signing by GM Dave Gettleman. He signed a two-year deal worth just $2.8 million that is ridiculously cheap considering the production we’ve gotten from a player that has had a very formidable career coming into the season!
This is his sixth year and his best with 90 combined tackles and seven interceptions, including a stretch of five straight games with an interception. He has been a great addition to our ball hawking secondary that leads the league in turnovers. Coleman has been amazing at reading the quarterback’s eyes and taking advantage of their questionable decisions.
This team has been able to take guys that are little known and gotten the best out of each and every one of them that is a credit to the coaches and the player’s work ethic. Coleman has turned into one of the best safeties in the NFL this season and one of the most fiery and competitive players on the Panthers the season.
Kawann Short the third-year defensive tackle out of Purdue has come out of his shell and just the right time for him and Panthers organization! I think some including me, were skeptical if he was going to reach his potential of that second round pick well he has done that and more.
Coming into 2015 he had just 70 total tackles, two forced fumbles and just five sacks. This season he recorded 53 total tackles, three forced fumbles and 11 sacks that production on the field has earned him a well-deserved first Pro bowl selection. It’s a good thing we’ve had him the last couple of weeks because it seems like he’s the only one that can generate any sort of pass rush and with the recent injuries we suffered in the secondary pass rush is going to be even more critical as we head into the regular-season finale and the playoffs.
This is a case of patience paying off for both the Panthers and Short it’s great to see hard work pay off for players that had high expectations coming into the NFL! His confidence is beaming and this is a small sample of what his career and year will end up being. He has been toying offensive lineman becoming an absolute nightmare for opposing offenses to prepare for I’m very happy he is in Carolina black and blue for that reason.
This final choice for breakout player could of gone to anyone on our team and this selection might surprise some people, but my choice is linebacker AJ Klein! His stats are not eye-popping however, he started three games for the best linebacker in the NFL Luke Kuechly and I don’t feel like our defense missed a beat!
The coaches and players felt the same way because he was named a captain and rightfully so understanding his role and playing gritty fiery football while Kuechly recovered. When he put in the game whether that be on special teams or just to give someone a blow he goes as hard as he can to make a positive impact on the game though matter how many snaps he gets.
I consider this a breakout year for him because he showed he has the ability to start and do anything that is asked of him and I guarantee you many NFL teams he would be starting as we speak so I think he deserves some love for the way he is providing this team this season
This entire team has broken out this season proving the entire NFL round and making them pay attention when the Carolina Panthers on the football field. These are just guys that have had coming-out parties in their careers that have contributed big time to our success; I love this theme in the attitude we brought to every single game. I hope you enjoy Go Panthers!!