2014 Record: 7-8-1, NFC South Champions, 4-1 in last five
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1st: 20th in DVOA* overall offense (23rd pass, 16th rush) | 15th in DVOA* overall defense (9th pass, 23rd run)
2nd: Fifth-worst in the NFL against WR1s (7.9 pass attempts per game, 65.3 receiving yards per game), but second-best in the NFL against pass-catching running backs (6.6 pass attempts, 31.6 yards), according to Football Outsiders’ defense vs. receiver types chart.
3rd: Key loss: RB DeAngelo Williams | Key addition: WR Devin Funchess
4th: Adding rookies WR Devin Funchess, RB Cameron Artis-Payne and a couple offensive lineman, the Panthers are trying to improve one of the worst offenses in the NFL. Adding those pieces to Kelvin Benjamin, Greg Olsen and Jonathan Stewart should give a well-paid Cam Newton enough weapons to improve the Panthers 23rd-ranked passing offense. It might be the best supporting cast he’s played with. Healded first-round pick LB Shaq Thompson should help improve the Panthers 23rd-ranked rush defense. The loss of Greg Hardy will hurt the defense. He is facing a tiny suspension for a huge incident — assaulting a woman — but from a team defense and fantasy perspective, Hardy was a playmaker on a defense that could use a few.
*Defense-adjusted Value Over Average, a Football Outsiders’ advanced NFL metric, measures a team’s performance on a per-play basis. The metric attempts to limit variance and provides a more realistic measurement of how good a team is regardless of matchup or situation, making it a strong indicator of future success. Read more about DVOA.