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Wednesday, August 28, 2013
What to watch: Panthers vs. Steelers

By David Newton

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- It won't mean anything in the annals of NFL history, but the Carolina Panthers have a chance to do something in Thursday night's preseason finale against the Pittsburgh Steelers they haven't since 2006.

Have a winning preseason record.

Only twice during the past six years have the Panthers (2-1) escaped with even a .500 record. So maybe from a confidence standpoint the 7:30 p.m. game will mean something.

Remember, in 2003 Carolina went 4-0 during the preseason coming off a 7-9 record as it is this year, and went 11-5 during the regular season, then advanced to the Super Bowl before losing to New England.

But in 2004 and 2006 the Panthers went 4-0 during the preseason, then 7-9 and 8-8 during the regular season. And the 2008 team went 2-2 in the preseason, then 12-4 in the regular season.

So the preseason record really determines nothing, particularly if you're a starter like quarterback Cam Newton, who may or may not even play.

But it will mean something to players trying to make the roster before it is trimmed from 75 to 53 on Saturday.

Here are three things that may keep your interest: