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Panthers in the Power Rankings: Week 15

Posted Dec 12, 2017

Carolina climbs in the weekly power rankings following victory over the Vikings.

Here's where the Panthers stand in various power rankings following their victory over the Vikings.

NFL.com

Panthers rank: 8th (5th in NFC)
Previous rank: 9th

NFC South: Saints 6th, Panthers 8th, Falcons 10th, Buccaneers 26th
This week's opponent: Packers 14th

Beyond the numbers: Elliot Harrison says the Panthers took care of business against a quality opponent, adding that if Cam Newton continues to run the ball like Randall Cunningham and the running back duo can average five yards per carry, the NFC South title is still attainable even this late in the season.

ESPN.com

Panthers rank: 7th (5th in NFC)
Previous rank: 9th

NFC South: Saints 6th, Panthers 7th, Falcons 10th, Buccaneers 27th
This week's opponent: Packers 14th

Beyond the numbers: ESPN notes that Newton has completed 67 passes to Christian McCaffrey, the most he's ever thrown to running backs in a single season. McCaffrey leads the team and all rookies in receptions.

CBS Sports

Panthers rank: 5th (3rd in NFC)
Previous rank: 7th

NFC South: Saints 4th, Panthers 5th, Falcons 9th, Buccaneers 28th
This week's opponent: Packers 15th

Beyond the numbers: Pete Prisco is impressed with Newton's big-time play of late and believes it will carry the Panthers the rest of the way.

Yahoo Sports

Panthers rank: 8th (6th in NFC)
Previous rank: 9th

NFC South: Saints 6th, Panthers 8th, Falcons 11th, Buccaneers 28th
This week's opponent: Packers 15th

Beyond the numbers: Frank Schwab points out that Newton made two plays against the Vikings that few NFL quarterbacks can make. The first was his touchdown throw to Devin Funchess, after evading what seemed like a sure-fire sack. The second was his 62-yard run that led to Carolina's game-winning score. He adds that the Panthers aren't always the prettiest, but when Newton is the best player on the field they're tough to beat.

Bleacher Report

Panthers rank: 7th (5th in NFC) 
Previous rank: 7th

NFC South: Saints 5th, Panthers 7th, Falcons 9th, Buccaneers 29th
This week's opponent: Packers 19th

Beyond the numbers: Chris Simms is encouraged by the way the Panthers involved Jonathan Stewart in the running game. The offense in considerably more dangerous when the ground game is flowing and Newton is making the occasional big play. Simms says the defense is still very good, but Newton needs to prove that he can carry the offense, particurarly with the pass, against elite defenses consistently.