It’s hard to know where to begin when it comes to predicting the 2015 season.
But in the case of the Carolina Panthers, it’s easy to say that they will be the best team in the NFC South and a Super Bowl contender.
The Panthers are coming off a season where they went 8-6 and earned a spot in the playoffs.
They finished the year with an overall record of 12-3 and a first-place NFC South ranking of 11-5.
Carolina has an impressive roster led by Cam Newton, a former Heisman Trophy winner, running back Kelvin Benjamin, quarterback Cam Newton and defensive end Luke Kuechly.
The Panthers finished the season with a combined total of 3,063 rushing yards and 842 passing yards.
In the past four years, Carolina has had two players selected first-round NFL draft picks, including quarterback Cam Brady, who is currently in the NFL.
Carolina finished the regular season at No. 2 in the league in points scored per game and No. 4 in yards per game.
Carolina finished the 2015 regular season with 3,988 points scored and 5,921 points allowed per game, good for a combined 19.6 points per game average.
In the NFC North, the Carolina Packers were the best offensive team in football, allowing just 2.8 points per drive, while the Carolina Saints finished with a 10-3 record and were second in the division.
The Carolina Panthers were second to the Carolina 49ers in scoring defense and finished the division with a 16-1 mark.
The NFC North was also home to the Green Bay Packers, who finished the 2016 regular season as the best offense in the conference.
The Packers finished the 2017 regular season 11-1 and had a 12-4 record.
The Carolina Panthers also had a pair of players selected second-round draft picks in the first round in 2016 and 2017.
The 2016 pick was running back Christian McCaffrey, who has been a starter for Carolina since 2012.
The third pick, tight end Greg Olsen, who was a member of the New Orleans Saints for two seasons, was selected by the Carolina Seahawks in the second round.
The 2017 draft was headlined by wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin.
Benjamin, who had nine receptions for 116 yards and two touchdowns, will have a lot of playing time this year, especially as the Panthers look to get back to being a serious threat to win the NFC East.
Benjamin is an NFL-ready receiver with the ability to make plays down the field and will have to show he can be more than just a deep threat to make the Panthers’ offense effective.
The first-year coach of the Panthers, Ron Rivera, will likely see the same type of production from his star wide receiver this year.
The 2015 season was an outlier in the Panthers offensive system.
Carolina will play in a new offense that is expected to be different than last year’s offense.
Carolina should also be able to find a few players to be a part of the passing attack.
The team is also expected to return star wideout Kelvin Benjamin to the field after missing the final two games of the 2015 campaign due to injury.
Benjamin missed most of the 2016 season due to knee injuries.
The team announced in April that Benjamin would be sidelined for four to six months with a stress fracture in his right foot.
Benjamin, who caught 70 passes for 899 yards and four touchdowns in 2016, will be an integral part of this team moving forward.
Benjamin was a key member of Carolina’s defense in the early stages of the season.
Benjamin had two interceptions and two fumble recoveries in the regular-season finale against the New York Giants.
He had one interception and one interception return for a touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.
Ben Benjamin will be a big part of Carolina moving forward moving forward, but he will need to show more in order to be as effective.