It's only five games into the season so it's unfair to rule any team's season dead besides the Cleveland Browns. When the defending NFC Champs falls to 1-4 though, the question of whether or not the team will even make the playoffs has to be up for discussion. Cam Newton didn't play last night so it's not like the team is awful and can't even beat the Buccaneers, they were missing their commander in chief, the reigning league MVP, so we can't count last nights game towards their overall performance this season. With losses to the Broncos, Falcons, and Vikings this team has lost to teams with a combined record of 13-2, so they've been losing to the best teams in football right now. The fact of the matter is you can make up all the excuses you want for this team being 1-4, the odds are not on their side mathematically for making the playoffs. Only 12 teams ever have made the playoffs after starting 1-4, so Carolina needs to get back on the winning track this week against the Saints. Now, the Panthers schedule the rest of the way is very easy, the best teams they play are the Seahawks and the Cardinals, besides that they play the teams in their division, and the Rams, Chiefs, Chargers, Raiders, and Redskins. They could most definitley finish the season at 10-6, a record that would most likely land them either a division crown or a wildcard berth. Despite their awful start, I believe this Carolina's team is too good to not make the playoffs, they have one of the best front 7's in football, and we all know what the offense is capable of. Johnathon Stewart has been a huge missing presence, this team is built off the run, and so far this season they've only had a rusher over 100 yards once. Most importantly, Cam needs to get back on the field, and back to last season's form. Without him this team will be lucky to win any games because that offense last night was worse than some college teams. Everything will start coming together for Carolina soon enough, they've had this perfect storm of bad misfortune to start the season, it'll eventually start turning around for them. If they can get their offensive weapons healthy, they'll be back to kicking everyone's ass in no time, but for now their season is in jeopardy.