Cam Newton's evolution has certainly helped the playoff-bound Panthers, but the outstanding play of linebackers Thomas Davis and Luke Kuechly cannot be overlooked.
Young and dangerous, the Panthers are the team nobody wants to play right now. And Carolina's ex-GM deserves plenty of credit.
Thanks to a ferocious front, the Panthers defense is starting to make big waves. Just ask Colin Kaepernick and the beleaguered 49ers.
Let's take a look at Week 5 picks from the 2013 NFL season, with a special emphasis on the particularly terrible 2009 NFL Draft's first round.
The Giants are reportedly looking to beef up their defense by adding Carolina Panthers linebacker Jon Beason.
The Carolina Panthers struggled against the pass in 2012. With potentially three new starters in the secondary, things could be changing
Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o will spend Thursday and Friday meeting with the New York Giants, according to the New York Daily News. Te'o reportedly spent the past two days meeting with the Dolphins.
The Carolina Panthers have agreed to terms on a multi-year agreement with former Giants linebacker Chase Blackburn, according to reports. Blackburn led the Giants in total tackles last season with 98. Blackburn could help a defense that ranked 14th against the run last season.
One of the New York Giants' priorities in the offseason is solidifying their linebacking corps after the release of veteran Michael Boley this month. The Giants have expressed interest in re-signing linebacker Chase Blackburn, according to the New York Post. Blackburn had a career-high in tackles in 2012, his first full season as a starter.
If the Giants' 9-7 season has taught us anything, it's that no problem exists in a vacuum. WR Hakeem Nicks' knee injury allowed defenses to focus on WR Victor Cruz and effectively take away the threat of the big play.

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