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09-01-2012, 03:17 PM
  #34
Kyle McMahon
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First time I've had much optimism for a Panthers season in a few years. If Newton doesn't have a sophomore jinx and the defense can stay healthy I think Carolina can battle for a playoff spot.

Defense staying healthy is the biggest thing. Beason missing almost all of last year was a crippling blow. The secondary is still a concern though.

I think the NFC is definitely the superior conference now, after the AFC was dominant for a long time. I see almost every NFC team as being at least competitive, and there are several options on who to pick to represent them in the Super Bowl.

Houston and New England would seem to be the favorites in the AFC. Pittsburgh and Baltimore should be good, but those defenses, especially the Ravens' are getting very long in the tooth. Denver could be a threat with Manning, but who knows. I just don't see the AFC having the quality of years past.

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