Last season, the Carolina Panthers were an average NFL team. With a 6-10 record and, last in the NFC South, the team paled in comparison to their 2015 Super Bowl team. Head coach Ron Rivera tried to change the offensive scheme and, the team paid dearly for it. Quarterback Cam Newton couldn't adjust and, performed historically bad last season.

Also, injuries were prevalent among the roster. Key offensive and defensive players suffered injuries throughout the season. However, the Panthers are showing signs of greatness again. There were several adjustments made this season and, the team is improving from them.

Panthers' strengths

The Panthers are known for their dominant defense. When the offense can't score, their defense keeps them in the game. In week one, the 49'ers were only able to gain 217 yards and, score three points. The defense forces turnovers, giving great field position to the offense.

Several improvements have been made to the Panthers' offense. Coach Ron Rivera focused on the offensive line and, ensured that Cam Newton would have better protection. In addition, rookie Christian McCaffrey is improving and, a great addition to the team. Cam Newton's performance has done a complete 180 from last season. He is more accurate, more decisive, and less prone to error.

Panthers' weaknesses

After a subpar 2016 season and offseason surgery, Cam Newton began the season with average performances.

Although he's improved, Newton hasn't returned to his MVP level of play. The overall offense needs improvement as well. The offensive line made mistakes that result in sacks or interceptions. In addition, the run offense is struggling. Jonathan Stewart can't perform and, Christian McCaffrey is still an unproven rookie.

These weaknesses were evident in their losses against the New Orleans Saints (3-2) and Philadephia Eagles (5-1).

Errors in the offense lead to game-winning drives by the Saints and Eagles. Two errors on offense caused the Panthers to be 4-2, instead of potentially 6-0.

Predictions for the season

This year, the Panthers are a playoff team. After a terrible 2016 season, multiple adjustments have been made to improve the team. Ron Rivera has a new offensive scheme and, their star players are recovered from earlier injuries.

Cam Newton is proving why he won 2015 MVP and, led the Panthers to a 15-1 regular season record.

If the Panthers offense improves, they will return to the playoffs. They can win the NFC South and, have a chance to reach the Super Bowl again.