In Part Three of his 2006 NFL Preview, Bullseye-Sports.com’s Dwayne Bryant provides his thoughts and predictions for the NFC South. Teams are listed in their predicted order of finish.

1. CAROLINA PANTHERS

Offense: WR Steve Smith returned from a 2004 injury and lit up the league last season, tallying 103 catches, 1,563 yards and 12 TDs. With newly-acquired Keyshawn Johnson on the other side, Smith should face less double and triple-teams. Keyshawn will not only help the offense in that aspect, but his ราคาบอลสเต็ป ufabet superb run-blocking ability will help open running lanes for RB DeShaun Foster. Foster has been plagued by injuries throughout his career, so don’t be surprised to see first-round draft pick DeAngelo Williams get his share of carries as well. Head coach John Fox prefers a run-first attack, but with Smith and Johnson at WR and QB Jake Delhomme under center, Fox would be better served using a more balanced offense. This offense was running on all cylinders late last season and I look for more of the same in 2006.

Defense: This is one tough defense that can do it all. It all starts up front with pass-rushing phenoms Julius Peppers and Mike Rucker. They combined for 18 sacks and three fumble recoveries – in an off-year. Carolina added DT Maake Kemoeatu to team with Kris Jenkins in the middle. They also added Damione Lewis from St. Louis to add much-needed depth to the line. Dan Morgan leads the LB crew, but has a history of injury problems. CBs Ken Lucas and Chris Gamble provide solid coverage and excellent playmaking ability in the secondary. In 2005, Carolina’s defense ranked third in yards allowed per game and fifth in points allowed. They also tallied 45 sacks and 42 takeaways. Look for this defense to continue to be among the league’s best.

Special Teams: There’s always the possibility of a return TD when Steve Smith is handling the punt-return duties. Kicker John Kasay connected on 26 of 34 FG tries with 5 of the 8 misses coming from beyond 50 yards.

Prediction: They can run. They can pass. They can defend the run and pass. There’s nothing this team can’t do. Look for Carolina to win the tough NFC South and quite possibly snag a first-round bye in the playoffs.