It was a muggy 90-degree day on August 19th in Spartanburg, SC. The Carolina Panthers and the Miami Dolphins were interlocked in the first of two days of joint training camp practices. Kelvin Benjamin, who led the Panthers with 73 catches for 1,008 yards and 9 touchdowns as a rookie in 2014, tore the ACL in his left knee running a routine route during that practice. Many people questioned how the Panthers would overcome such a devastating blow to an already shaky receiving core.

How will the Panthers score? Who will Cam Newton throw to? Can the Panthers win the NFC South and return to the playoffs?

Fast forward to November 22nd, the Carolina Panthers are averaging 30 points per game, which is 3rd in the NFL. Cam Newton has thrown 20 touchdown passes to 8 different receivers so far this season. The Panthers are 10-0 and comfortably in 1st place in the NFC.

// no one’s surprise the Panthers defense has been stout. As a unit, they rank in the top 10 in the NFL in scoring defense, yards allowed, and takeaways. Kawann Short, Luke Kuechly, Thomas Davis, and Josh Norman are arguably the best players at their positions and have not disappointed.

How many of you expected Cam Newton to be having an MVP-worthy season? I’ll wait.

// Newton has thrown for 2,283 yards and 20 touchdowns. He’s also ran for 382 yards and 6 touchdowns. The Carolina Panthers just demolished the Washington Redskins 44-16, in a game where Newton threw a career high 5 touchdown passes and the defense forced 5 turnovers.

// sets up a unique opportunity for Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers to make an emphatic statement on Thanksgiving Day. They will play in front of a national audience, on the 2nd biggest NFL stage, against America’s most polarizing team, the Dallas Cowboys.

By the time, we are digesting our Thanksgiving dinners and indulging in various delectable pies, Cam Newton may very well be in pole position for NFL MVP. And the Carolina Panthers could be 11-0 as they continue chasing history on the quest for an undefeated season.

Let’s be honest with each other. Think back to August 19th, when Kelvin Benjamin was lost for the season, would you have bet on this outcome thus far? I’ll go first and openly admit, that I had little hope for the season on that day. I’m confident that I was not the only one and I’m ecstatic that we were all wrong.