There are important NFL players and then there are the players who shoulder the fate of their teams based on day-in, day-out performance during the season. These are the latter. Here are the 4 Players Who Will Make Or Break The Carolina Panthers' 2015 Season.
QB Cam Newton
Newton had an up-and-down season by his standards in 2014, but he still posted comparable offensive numbers to 2013 while playing two less games. An offseason of recuperation, along with the critics chirping about his ability to push the Panthers to the next level, is set to fuel Cam to a fantasy-football dominating season that even the real Superman couldn’t duplicate. If so, the Panthers will go from fringe playoff participant to Super Bowl contender in a nanosecond.
CB Charles Tillman
Tillman was the biggest free agent signing of the offseason for Carolina, and it's not necessarily because of what he's going to provide on the field. “One of the things that he’s done real nice is he’s mixing in with the players—young guys, young corners especially,” said Panthers coach Ron Rivera. “He’s sharing his wealth of knowledge. I think he’s done a great job for us. He’s had a great impact.” Keeping that mentoring train going will galvanize the team's all-world defense even more as the weeks progress.
MLB Luke Kuechly
People can talk about Houston's JJ Watt all they want as the most essential and dominant defensive player in all of college football, but Kuechly's right up there. His 153 combined tackles led the team in 2014 and it's his on-field motor which pushes teammates around him to not rest on their laurels. Kuechly's is a make or break piece in that, as long as he can hold off injury, he'll be the straw that stirs the Panthers' defensive drink.
WR Kelvin Benjamin
Benjamin built up quite the level of trust with Cam Newton in his rookie season, eclipsing the 1,000 receiving yard barrier with nine touchdowns on 73 catches. Benjamin's progression is critical to the evolution of this offense. He's already on the brink of superstardom, and if he can push himself over the top in 2015, the rest of the offense will benefit thanks to targeted coverage and potential double teams.Back to the Carolina Panthers Newsfeed