The Panthers’ 2012 season started glaringly similar to their 2011 campaign with a disappointing 2-8 record through 10 games. However, entering Year Two of the union between coach Ron Rivera and franchise QB Cam Newton – who had set records for rookie passing yards and rushing touchdowns by a quarterback in his debut season – preseason expectations in Carolina were perhaps a tad unrealistic. To put that notion into perspective, three-time Pro Bowl center Ryan Kalil bought a full-page ad in the Charlotte Observer prior to the season featuring the headline, “Why the Carolina Panthers will win Super Bowl XLVII.”
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