The Carolina Panthers have been on the cusp of their first Super Bowl for a while now. They made the playoffs in four of the last five seasons and at their peak were the most explosive and effective offense in the NFL. They went 15-1 in 2015 and crushed all comers in the NFC on their way to a berth in Super Bowl 50, where they ran into the terrific Denver Broncos defense and came up just short.
Coming into Madden 19 the core of that Super Bowl run is still in place with Cam Newton under center and Luke Kuechly marshaling the defense, but the supporting cast has changed. If anything the Panthers have more potential on offense now, though the overall defense is not as strong as it once was. They are still a force to be reckoned with in Madden 19 though.
*All stats correct at time of writing
The Carolina Panthers come into Madden 19 with a solid 82 overall rating. It doesn't put them among the elite teams this year, but it is well above those at the bottom of the NFL too. Only 8 teams have a better overall rating than the Panthers.
Carolina are also a very balanced side. Their offense receives an 81 rating, solidly in the middle of the league, and their defense gets a strong 85 rating. That defensive score is 9th best in Madden 19 and given their personnel it is a perfect unit for a good player to use.
Luke Kuechly, Middle Linebacker (OVR 97)
Development Trait: Superstar
Contract: 4 years/$32.8 million
2018 Cap Hit: $7.73 million
Best Stats: Play Recognition (99), Awareness (99), Pursuit (97), Tackle (96), Hit Power (93), Acceleration (89), Speed (86), Zone Coverage (85)
Luke Kuechly has been nothing short of brilliant ever since the Panthers drafted him 9th overall in 2012. He started immediately as a rookie and claimed Defensive Rookie of the Year award in 2012. From there he won 2013 Defensive Player of the Year and was named to the All-Pro team for the first time. He's gone on to be a four-time All-Pro and can really do it all as a linebacker, with his coverage and tackling being among the best in the modern era. He comes into Madden 19 with 847 tackles, 15 interceptions, and 10.5 sacks to his name.
Christian McCaffrey, Running Back (OVR 92)
Development Trait: Star
Contract: 3 years/$13.17 million
2018 Cap Hit: $4.1 million
Best Stats: Agility (96), Juke Move (94), Acceleration (92), Speed (91), Elusiveness (90), Spin Move (90), Short Route (81), Catching (79)
The Panthers drafted Christian McCaffrey 8th overall in 2017 after his explosive college play with Stanford. He racked up nearly 4,000 rushing yards in college and added 1,206 receiving yards too, finding the endzone 31 times, finishing runner-up in the 2015 Heisman voting. McCaffrey's rookie season was full of unfulfilled promise, and while he caught 80 passes and scored seven touchdowns it felt like there was a lot more to come. In Madden 19 he is one of the best receiving backs around and is very difficult to tackle in the open field.
Kawann Short, Defensive Tackle (OVR 89)
Development Trait: Star
Contract: 4 years/$44.8 million
2018 Cap Hit: $10.2 million
Best Stats: PLay Recognition (92), Awareness (92), Block Shedding (92), Power Moves (88), Strength (87), Tackle (86)
The Panthers drafted Kawann Short in the second round in 2013. The big defensive tackle out of Purdue was a big part of the defensive line rotation in his rookie season, but didn't start a game until 2014. By 2015 he was a vital piece of the defense and one of the best interior defensive linemen around. He racked up 11 sacks and 16 tackles for loss that season, prompting teams to set their blocking schemes specifically to account for him and taking attention away from the edges and second level.
Cam Newton, Quarterback (OVR 87)
Development Trait: Star
Contract: 3 years/$ 58.8 million
2018 Cap Hit: $15.7 million
Best Stats: Throw Power (96), Break Sack (95), Play Action (92), Short Accuracy (88), Throw On Run (87), Speed (85)
Cam Newton was the first overall pick in 2011 and has given the Panthers no reason to regret the pick. Since day 1 Cam's remarkable combination of athleticism, size, and arm talent have been a nightmare for defenses to handle. In his seven years in the NFL Newton has racked up 25,000 passing yards and 158 touchdowns through the air along with over 4,000 yards and 54 touchdowns on the ground. His physicality has made him tough to sack and his running ability has really expanded the Panthers threat at the goal line especially. He claimed the 2015 MVP and carried the Panthers all the way to the Super Bowl.
Full Roster & Depth Chart
|QB||OVR||Speed||Throw Power||Short Accuracy||Medium Accuracy||Deep Accuracy||Throw Under Pressure||Play Action|
|FB||OVR||Speed||Strength||Carrying||Pass Block||Run Block||Lead Block||Impact Block|
|WR||OVR||Speed||Agility||Catching||Short Route||Medium Route||Deep Route||Catch In Traffic||Spectacular Catch||Release||Jumping|
|TE||OVR||Speed||Agility||Catching||Short Route||Medium Route||Deep Route||Run Block|
|OL||OVR||Speed||Strength||Pass Block||Run Block||Lead Block||Impact Block|
|Greg Van Roten||70||66||84||75||75||54||79|
|DE||OVR||Speed||Agility||Power Moves||Finesse Moves||Block Shedding|
|Bryan Cox Jr||71||76||72||64||75||66|
|DT||OVR||Speed||Strength||Power Moves||Finesse Moves||Block Shedding||Impact Block|
|Vernon Butler Jr||74||66||83||77||61||77||83|
|OLB||OVR||Speed||Agility||Tackle||Hit Power||Play Recognition||Pursuit||Man Coverage||Zone Coverage|
|Thomas Davis Sr||84||82||85||90||94||90||86||64||74|
|Jermaine Carter Jr||69||83||77||79||87||52||82||66||72|
|MLB||OVR||Speed||Agility||Tackle||Hit Power||Play Recognition||Pursuit||Man Coverage||Zone Coverage|
|CB||OVR||Speed||Acceleration||Agility||Man Coverage||Zone Coverage||Press|
|FS||OVR||Speed||Acceleration||Agility||Play Recognition||Man Coverage||Zone Coverage|
|SS||OVR||Speed||Acceleration||Tackle||Play Recognition||Man Coverage||Zone Coverage|
|ST||OVR||Kick Power||Kick Accuracy|
|Graham Gano (K)||83||99||87|
|Michael Palardy (P)||80||92||90|
|Chandler Catanzaro (K)||75||96||80|
The Panthers offense starts with Cam Newton (96 throw power, 85 speed) at quarterback, but it extends beyond him as well. Christian McCaffrey (96 agility, 94 juke move) is a deadly running back and Greg Olsen (95 catching, 84 short route) is a reliable veteran at tight end. At wide receiver there is a lot of youthful potential in rookies DJ Moore (93 speed, 86 catching) and Damiere Byrd (96 speed, 77 deep route) along with the raw athleticism of Curtis Samuel (95 speed, 77 deep route). The limiting factor of the Panthers is the offensive line, which is far from strong, although Trai Turner (79 pass block, 82 run block) and Daryl Williams (85 pass block, 84 run block) are solid blockers.
Defensively the Panthers have a handful of stars. Luke Kuechly (99 play recognition, 96 tackle) is the key man at middle linebacker and can cover every blade of grass while Kawann Short (91 impact block, 88 power moves) brings a destructive ability to the defensive line. The edges are relatively good thanks to Mario Addison (85 finesse moves, 80 speed) and the legendary Julius Peppers (84 finesse moves, 83 agility) while Thomas Davis (94 hit power, 90 tackle) and Shaq Thompson (87 pursuit, 87 tackle) provide support at linebacker. The secondary is not a strong point, but James Bradberry (91 speed, 83 man coverage) and Donte Jackson (95 speed, 82 man coverage) have potential at cornerback while Eric Reid (92 acceleration, 81 zone coverage) is a good safety.
Carolina Panthers Playbook - Offense
I Form Pro
I Form Slot Flex
I Form Twin TE
Strong I H Pro
Strong I H Wing
Weak I Pro
Weak I Slot
Singleback Ace Pair
Singleback Bunch Ace
Singleback Deuce Close
Singleback Wing Pair
Singleback Wing Tight
Singleback Y Trips
Pistol Full Panther
Pistol Strong Slot
Pistol Weak I
Shotgun Ace Slot
Shotgun Bunch Open Offset
Shotgun Double Stack
Shotgun Eagle H Tight
Shotgun Empty Base Flex
Shotgun Empty Bunch
Shotgun Heavy Panther
Shotgun Split Panther
Shotgun Spread Y-Slot
Shotgun Stack HB Wk
Shotgun Trey Open
Shotgun Trey Y-Flex
Shotgun Trio Falcon
Shotgun Trio Offset
Shotgun Wing Tight
Shotgun Y Off Trips
Wildcat Slot Flex
The Carolina Panthers offensive playbook is very good. It brings a lot of different under center looks with several I form and weak/strong formations as well as a good number of singleback formations. It has Singleback Deuce Close as well as Singleback Ace Pair which can mess with defenses. There are plenty of plays that take advantage of Cam Newton's athleticism, especially in the Pistol formations. Once you get to shotgun this playbook really opens up, with Trey Y-Flex and Stack HB Wk both allowing for simple reads on plays. Shotgun Trio Falcon (labeled Trio Panther in game) contains the wonderful PA Shot Wheel, and you also have a unique Heavy Panther look that is a killer at the goal line.
Carolina Panthers Playbook - Defense
4-3 Over Plus
4-3 Wide 9
Nickel Double A Gap
Nickel Wide 9
Big Nickel Over G
Quarter 3 Deep
Goal Line Defense 5-3-3
Goal Line Defense 5-4-2
The Panthers defensive playbook is a pretty standard 4-3 one. You get the usual 5 4-3 fronts, as well as a 5-2 Normal formation which is pretty good for shutting down runs in clear running situations. It doesn't contain as many nickel and dime packages as some other playbooks but there is enough to generate plenty of coverage when need be, and given the strength of the Panthers linebackers you don't want to take them off the field too often anyway.