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April 17, 2012

Five things to know about Panthers schedule

1-Prime-time Panthers

Following a Rookie of the Year campaign by quarterback Cam Newton and a big offensive improvement, the Panthers landed a pair of prime-time matchups against NFC East opponents.

The Panthers face the reigning Super Bowl-champion New York Giants on Thurs., Sept. 20 on the NFL Network, and head to Philadelphia for a Monday Night Football appearance on ESPN on Nov. 26. The Panthers played 15 of their 16 games in 2011 at 1 p.m.

It is the Panthers' first Monday night game since losing to Dallas in week 3 in 2009. The Panthers are 5-4 on Monday night.

The Panthers played four prime-time games in 1997, following their surprising run to the NFC Championship Game in 1996 in the franchise's second season. Carolina played Monday night games against San Francisco and Dallas in '97, and had Sunday night games against Washington and Atlanta as part of TNT's NFL package.

2-Tough stretch

The Panthers will get a tough early test with three consecutive games against 2011 playoff teams in weeks 2-4. The stretch begins with a home game against the New Orleans Saints, in their second game without suspended coach Sean Payton.

The Panthers then play host to the Giants four days later on Thursday night, before traveling to Atlanta on Sept. 30. Carolina opens with two divisional opponents – Tampa Bay and New Orleans – for just the third time in franchise history.

“We had a strong finish last year and hope to maintain that momentum for the 2012 season,” Panthers coach Ron Rivera said in a release. “We play in one of the best divisions in the NFL and play all three division teams plus the New York Giants in the first four games. It’s going to be a challenge, but one that excites us.”

3-Cam vs. Vick

The Monday night matchup will feature Newton against Eagles quarterback Michael Vick. Newton, last year's No. 1 pick, grew up in Atlanta rooting for Vick, who was the top pick of the Falcons in 2001. The two have stayed in contact, with Vick calling Newton last year during his record-breaking rookie season.

The Panthers' Nov. 4 game at Washington will produce a matchup of the last two Heisman Trophy winners in Newton and ex-Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III, expected to go to the Redskins with the second pick in next week's draft.

Newton indicated he put Griffin first on his Heisman ballot last December.

4-Double Dose of Mannings

The league's first family of quarterbacks will be involved in two games in Charlotte. Peyton Manning, the most famous free agent in NFL history, will come to Bank of America Stadium on Nov. 11 with Denver. The Broncos signed Manning to a 5-year, $96 million contract after the Colts waived him in March as part of their massive house-cleaning.

Eli Manning, the Super Bowl MVP, brings the reigning-champion New York Giants to town on Sept. 20.

Eli threw for 263 yards and three touchdowns, but was also was picked off three times, the last time he faced Carolina – a 31-18 Giants' victory in the 2010 opener when Matt Moore was the Panthers' starting quarterback.

5-It Was What it Was

The matchup with Peyton will be one of two intriguing storylines the week of the Denver game. Broncos coach John Fox will coach his first game in Charlotte, where he spent nine seasons and led the Panthers to their only Super Bowl appearance during the 2003 season.

Fox had a falling-out with management during his lame-duck 2010 season, infamously casting blame on the “personnel department” when asked about the possibility of adding a veteran quarterback in the midst of the Panthers' injury-filled, 2-14 season.

Fox, who still has a house in Quail Hollow and two sons at Elon, is sure to use the phrase, “it is what it is” at least once in the days leading to his return to Charlotte.

Rivera will face all three of his former teams with road games at Chicago (Oct. 28), Philadelphia and San Diego (Dec. 16).

--Joseph Person

Posted by Observer Sports on April 17, 2012 at 07:36 PM | Permalink


Looks tough

Posted by: john | Apr 17, 2012 9:08:55 PM

What a joke. Pushead losers and their homo fan will be lucky to win 2 games. Worthless sorryazz scamming outfit worse ever in NFL history.

What about the Newton rats ratting on the Saints and lying about it? Is that the pot calling the kettle black or what? Daddy scam protecting his benefactor and didnt want him to get hit in 2012 since he was protected in 2011?

Payback gonna be a bitch.


2-14 at best

Posted by: quail hollow | Apr 18, 2012 7:08:03 AM

quail hollow must be a Saints fan. Has anyone else noticed that most of the anti-Panther/pro-Saints comments have contained spelling and grammar that would embarass your average 4-year-old?

I see 10 wins - we will lose to Atlanta twice, like we always do, and we'll probably lose both the prime time games, as well as the Chicago game. The rest we win. I'm glad we get Denver in a 1 PM game. The donkeys and the other western teams don't do well on the East coast.

Posted by: J | Apr 18, 2012 7:19:49 AM

I think the Panthers will surprise a lot of people this year. I see a 11-5 campaign. They knock off the Falcoons and Bouty Aints at home. Both Mannings will go home losers. Bank on it.

Posted by: PantherDave | Apr 18, 2012 8:50:44 AM

Hint & free advice:

Draft a real QB or make a trade for 6'5" 260lb freight train Tebow. Scratch that. The Jets would never release their future Hall Of Famer 5 time Super Bowl Champ since little 6' 200lb Sanchez runt is a goner and he knows it. NYC is 100% Tebowing.

These CO dummies make it too damn easy.

GO SAINTS (they laugh at the wus bounty penalty and see it as an incentive )

GO JET TEBOW ( good luck in the super bowl)

Posted by: Saint Tebow World Champion | Apr 18, 2012 9:16:05 AM

.500 season will be a good step in the right direction, people need to settle down a little bit.

Posted by: slim shady | Apr 18, 2012 9:24:03 AM

watch out fo rurl nex year mayne... aints goin down and Atl has new OC who stank at Jakonsilvlle.. cam can dog ya huuuurd ~stankonya

Posted by: Stankonya | Apr 18, 2012 9:38:39 AM

Couple of those posts weren't even in English...

Posted by: Fartz | Apr 18, 2012 9:40:58 AM

The Saints are almost as evil as their voodoo worshiping fans...

Posted by: Sportsdon | Apr 18, 2012 1:06:00 PM

Tough schedule. I see a 6-10 year. There are only 10 games I see as even winnable, and they will need to do VERY well in the draft to pick those up. Not to mention Mr. Newton's need for improvement in the area of turnovers.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Apr 18, 2012 1:16:24 PM

It is not hard to figure out why our public education system in the U.S. is in dire need of help when you read some of these comments. And just so you know "quail hollow" (I'm guessing your name is more about your brain matter than the club), I think you meant "worst" not "worse ever in NFL history." Cam will be tea-bagging the Saint's and laughing all the way to the bank. Ain't that the "worse"!

Posted by: TappDaddy | Apr 18, 2012 1:18:39 PM

I am a real big Fan and being that, i say Forget(in other terms) Quail hollow....
as to all the other fans. Please lets be realist here.
you dont know the condition of the DEF.
we can be on top, but only if we draft a stopping CB or if our DE's mature and at least give the DB's some help. you can only cover a person for so long. trust me. i played WR. give the QB time to throw and they will eventually send you home with a "L" , We dont know how BEAS(T)ON will bounce back. and we're half past lucky if TDavis make it past preseason.

Posted by: PANTHERSFAN4LIFE | Apr 19, 2012 9:33:49 AM

So there is cause for concern. the offense stayed in games and the DEF and STeams lost them pretty much. a big difference in the games we lost last year by 7 or less. which would have indeed could have gave the team 10+ wins. just like you guys are hoping for again this year, difference is. BUCs have stocked up. will grab that corner we need.addressed the WR position with Vjax.
ATLANTA still seems to be our achillies heel. so that possibly is 3-4 loses(lets be real) then you have SAINTS which no matter the bounty or not can still be a problem. theres a reason why they say our division is the toughest.
after that you have Dallas(lets face it. we own dallas in the playoffs. but they own us in the regular season. GIANTS have had our number pretty much lately also.
so that right there can easily be 5+ loses.
i wont put any numbers truly in the win lost column until at least after OTA's and Training Camp. to see how davis/beason/gettis bounce back.
and then preseason to see how out new players shape up. ALSO. IF I WAS PANTHERS FANS I WOULD GO OUT AND VOTE FOR CAM NEWTON ON THE MADDEN 13 COVER.

with that being said.

Posted by: PANTHERSFAN4LIFE | Apr 19, 2012 9:37:40 AM

I don't considered the Thursday night game a good thing. Not when most of your fan base can't watch it.

Posted by: jbw | Apr 19, 2012 12:25:22 PM

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