« Gettleman: Wonderlic test is an indicator | Main | Video: Analyzing the Carolina Panthers' schedule, draft plans »

April 18, 2013

Panthers' schedule analysis

Five things to know about the Panthers' schedule, which was released Thursday night:

1-It won't be easy.

For the second time in three years, the Panthers have the NFL's toughest schedule based on opponents' winning percentage the previous season. Carolina faces six playoffs teams from 2012, including three – New England, Minnesota and San Francisco – that will be coming off a bye week. A three-game stretch in November against the Falcons, 49ers and Patriots could determine Ron Rivera's future.

2-The division will be decided late.

The Panthers don't play an NFC South rival until Week 8 at Tampa Bay. Four of their six division games come in December, when they play New Orleans twice in a 15-day span and close the season at Atlanta in Week 17.

3-Panthers get two chances to prove they're prime-time players.

The Panthers go to Tampa Bay on Thursday night in Week 8, and host New England on Monday night in Week 11. The Panthers were 1-1 in prime time last season, beating Philadelphia and getting blown out by the Giants, who come to Charlotte in Week 3 for the second year in a row.

4-Get ready for the zone read.

Cam Newton vs. Seattle second-year QB and ex-N.C. State standout Russell Wilson in Week 1 in Charlotte. Cam vs. the Niners' Colin Kaepernick in Week 10 at San Francisco.

5-They caught a break with potential bad/hot weather games.

The Panthers won't see snow in Buffalo in September, and head to Arizona in October and Miami in November when both places will be cooler.

--Joseph Person


Posted by Observer Sports on April 18, 2013 at 09:12 PM | Permalink


explain how we keep getting the toughest schedule. something does not add up. whether or not no one knows what its going to be like after season starts. soemthing does not add.up when teams like then Patriots play cupcake schedules.

Posted by: 10-4!! | Apr 18, 2013 9:21:07 PM

I believe that second year we had the 2nd toughest schedule. Charlotte teams be quiet and just make us money(NFL/NBA).

Posted by: 10-4!! | Apr 18, 2013 9:23:47 PM

Like Ric Flair use to say....to be the man you gotta beat the man...whoooo!

Posted by: Hotspur54 | Apr 18, 2013 9:39:22 PM

IMO you can blame Jerry Richardson for the Panther's terrible schedules and the fact we've historically gotten so few national TV games. When you have an owner who's bascially said this city should just be happy we have a team, the NFL looks at that and figures they can treat the team and fans any kind of way. This team is never going to improve under him. Just move them to LA already.

Posted by: Blame Jerry | Apr 18, 2013 9:45:13 PM

I think football is great so many studs and they are sexy too

Posted by: Gay pride | Apr 18, 2013 10:21:10 PM

not taking into consideration new orleans is not going to be new orleans of last year.
So thats toughest schedule, 2nd toughest behind Miami I think and again toughest schedule. Justify how you like it by saying nobody knows what its going to be like until season starts.... well we know who was in playoffs and that the Saints will be different. Its BULL S&/t!!

Posted by: 10-4!! | Apr 18, 2013 10:34:16 PM

@blamejerry and 10-4 ..you to have absolutely no idea how they do the scheduling. it has nothing to do with them picking on anybody. there are plenty of variables that factor into this...become more educated on how they do schedule then come and complain. yeah it sucks but that's just how it works.

Posted by: shaun nj | Apr 18, 2013 10:43:24 PM

Arizona plays indoors, therefore weather is not a factor. More slapshot coverage by the Disturber.

Posted by: Phil | Apr 18, 2013 10:45:33 PM

I think this is great schedule for the Panthers coming off their 7-9 season. plenty of reason to prove the naysayers wrong.

Posted by: shaun nj | Apr 18, 2013 10:45:59 PM

well explain like I said smart guy.

Posted by: 10-4!! | Apr 18, 2013 10:49:51 PM

bottom line is teams tend to.get a harder schedule after making playoffs just like when foxie used to take advantage an easier schedule following season...better the record tougher schedule following season. correct? if not correct me.
So how many teams have had almost the toughest schedule 3 seasons in a row? how ever they statistically figure they nee to get a different guy.

Posted by: 10-4!! | Apr 18, 2013 10:57:52 PM

yes i do understand variables and that the best recored doesnt get the toughest schedule, Divisions play a part on how tough they are, like ours this year should be the toughest in the league. That was not even taken into consideration. Fair enough but 3 seaons in a row one of toughest schedules in the league. thats not variables.

Posted by: 10-4!! | Apr 18, 2013 11:08:14 PM

The NFL schedules use the same variables for every team. Each team plays:

6 games - Every team in their division.
4 games - Against every team in another division in their conference. (This year, the NFC South plays NFC West, so each NFC South team plays each NFC West team.)
4 games - Against every team in a division of the opposite conference. (NFC South plays AFC East this season.)
2 games - Against the remaining two divisions in the team's conference, where teams that finish in the same place play each other. Since the Panthers finished 2nd in NFC South, they play the 2nd place team in the NFC East (the Giants) and the 2nd place team in the NFC North (the Vikings).

That's how the NFL makes the schedules. NBC and ESPN have some input on which teams get the Sunday & Monday night games

Posted by: Greg | Apr 19, 2013 7:05:24 AM

They are going to automatically have a difficult schedule with Atlanta's record showing up twice in their strength of schedule rating. Also, despite the fact that they were in last most of the season in the division, b/c of the tiebreakers they didn't finish "last" and gained a tougher schedule in that manner as well.

Posted by: Sambo | Apr 19, 2013 8:32:54 AM

Greg is the only one who knows what he is talking about. The schedule of teams is already known years in advance. Strength of schedule is purely chance year to year.

Posted by: Crispy Bacon | Apr 19, 2013 9:00:20 AM

In 2014 the Panthers play the NFC North and AFC North. In 2015 the Panthers play the NFC East and AFC South. In 2016.... They rotate sequentially every year.

Posted by: Crispy Bacon | Apr 19, 2013 9:11:42 AM

All valid points and thanks greg. Fair enough something is still off. Out of 32 teams in 3 years we missed by one spot of having the toughest schedule 3 years consecutive , a question needsto be asked is all im saying, attention brought to it. Maybe this is something that the comitee needs to look at
Its not a competition of who knows more on worthless blog.

Posted by: 10-4!! | Apr 19, 2013 9:23:48 AM

Divisions doesnt matter its who in the division and their record

Posted by: 10-4!! | Apr 19, 2013 9:26:55 AM

greg should be writing the articles for the observer.

I enjoyed the "dodged hot weather in phoenix" and the "division decided late"....division is typically done late.

Posted by: big gulps | Apr 19, 2013 10:26:53 AM

Univ. of Phoenix Stadium has a retractable roof.

Posted by: Joe Person | Apr 19, 2013 10:31:45 AM

6-10 again

Posted by: Rae Carruth | Apr 19, 2013 10:41:49 AM

Don't start making excuses with the schedule strength BS Nobody knows how good these teams will be next year ,so "if no playoffs it's now Head coach ,and new QB year 3 is enough to know how good Cam is...NO EXCUSES!!!

Posted by: Cam's Entourage | Apr 19, 2013 10:44:50 AM

Agreed no excuses no matter what this is Rivera & Cam to show If they belong or not ,so NO koolaid excuses about the schedule!

Posted by: TWIGGY | Apr 19, 2013 10:46:54 AM

Playoffs or bust or these clowns are gone

Posted by: seenthisb4 | Apr 19, 2013 10:48:29 AM

this just in....

winning pro football games won't be easy.

Posted by: big gulps | Apr 19, 2013 11:07:27 AM

The comments to this entry are closed.