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Panthers expected to finish 7-9 according to Sports Illustrated prediction Despite promise from a retooled receiving corps and a new offensive coordinator in Norv Turner DJ Moore Panthers Jersey , the fine folks at Sports Illustrated believe that the efforts are just enough to power the Carolina Panthers to a 7-9 finish for third place in the NFC South.Their reasoning? Cam Newton’s struggles with accuracy and ‘mechanics’ plus an inconsistent offensive line and a porous secondary. SI’s 2018 NFL Preview claims that Turner will have to rely on Newton’s speed more often than not.(Ed. Note - The following quotes were taken from the physical issue of Sports Illustrated’s 2018 NFL Preview. To subscribe, click here. -BS)“While Turner’s downfield attack would seem a perfect match for Newton’s power arm, the QB’s erratic mechanics can cause him to miss-often wildly- on routine throws , and that won'tchange eight years into his NFL career. That’s why Turner must use Newton’s legs to stabilize the offense.” On the offensive line, the preview had this to say:“Even with Newton and the signing of running back C.J. Anderson from Denver, the ground game won’t prosper if Carolina’s O-line doesn't generate more push, and that’s going to be a challenge.” The piece went on to mention the age of center Ryan Kalil and the departure of left guard and top blocker Limited Christian McCaffrey Jersey , Andrew Norwell to the Jaguars.”First of all, the concerns about the offensive line are valid. Before undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery, Kalil had his share of struggles in the preseason. The losses of right tackle Daryl Williams (torn MCL) and Amini Silatolu (torn meniscus) are a concern for a unit that’s ranked no 23 in the league.Even if healthy, one can say that the biggest reason why Turner will have to rely on Newton’s speed and athleticism is the fact that he can get no protection from his line, thus making it easy for opposing defenses to flush him out of the pocket and easier to force errant passes.That criticism is fair. However Newton’s accuracy is another issue. “Not accurate? That’s cool, watch this!” In the preseason, Newton completed 26/38 passes for 68.4 percent and a touchdown in limited action.Against the Patriots Christian McCaffrey Panthers Jersey , Newton spread the ball beautifully- getting Devin Funchess, Greg Olsen, and Curtis Samuel involved for a combined nine catches for 137 yards before the backups’ reps.Granted , these numbers are a small sample size, but it’s indicative of Newton’s capability to be accurate.Furthermore, Turner has a penchant to utilize the backfield as viable targets for a few outs and screens. Christian McCaffrey proved last season that he is more than just a capable option for Newton: he’s reliable. Last season, McCaffrey recorded 80 catches for 651 yards and five touchdowns. For the Broncos last season Elite Christian McCaffrey Jersey , C.J. Anderson chipped in with 28 catches for 221 yards. Don't bet against Newton spreading the ball around and hold a high completion percentage. If the Panthers consistently perform like they did against the Dolphins and the Patriots respectively, I believe that they will end up finishing with a winning record.In the game against New England,Carolina held the Patriots’ offense to only three points at the half.Middle Linebacker Luke Kuechly’s goal line stand included seven tackles and a pass deflection in the first half.The week before, the Panthers held Miami to one red zone touchdown. Since new defensive coordinator Eric Washington will plan to minimize the pressure on a erratic secondary, look for the Panthers to ride their blitz happy defense to some wins. It looks as if the Panthers will have to keep pounding the respect out of people. So, what are your thoughts about the prediction from SI? Let us know in the comments.Panthers vs Giants Thursday injury report: Panthers have all hands on deck for today’s practice The Panthers have issued today’s injury report for their Week 5 game against the Giants, and it’s pretty much the same as yesterday’s report—Trai Turner and Curtis Samuel were both on the practice field for the Panthers again Game Christian McCaffrey Jersey , which is good news in my opinion. According to an early report from Bill Voth, no one was on the “do not practice” list today.Greg Olsen is hopeful that he will be back next week for the Panthers’ trip to Washington, but he has been ruled out for this Sunday’s game against the Giants. Still, the fact that it’s even a consideration that he will be ready to go next week is a victory in and of itself. Stay tuned for more updates in the coming days on Olsen, as we’ll have more information on that whenever it becomes available.Here’s the full injury report for the Panthersanthers injury reportDid not participate in practiceNoneLimited participation in practiceTE Greg Olsen (foot)Full participation in practiceDT Vernon Butler (shoulder)WR Damiere Byrd (knee)DE Julius Peppers (rest)WR Curtis Samuel (medical illness)G Trai Turner (concussion)Practice StatusDid not participate in practice = 0% of a player’s normal repetitionsLimited participation in practice = Less than 100% of a player’s normal repetitionsFull participation in practice = 100% of a player’s normal repetitionsGame StatusOut = Player will not playDoubtful = Player unlikely to playQuestionable = Uncertain if player will play

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