Breakdown: The Panthers could be a sacrificial lamb of sorts as they open the regular season in the new Giants Stadium. But the good news is they follow that up with home games against the Buccaneers and Bengals. That could get John Fox off the hot seat, at least temporarily.
The Panthers could see their former quarterback Jake Delhomme when they go to Cleveland on Nov. 28, assuming of course Delhomme hasn’t already played his way out of the lineup. The Panthers will get to know the Ravens pretty well, traveling to Baltimore in the preseason and hosting the Ravens on Nov. 21. The Panthers also will face the Steelers in the preseason and regular season and both games are in Pittsburgh.
Complaint department: There’s a chance that the Panthers could be playing in cold weather, something they’re not particularly good at, in six of their final seven games. Weather in Charlotte in late November and December can go either way, but the Panthers also have to make late-season trips to Cleveland, Seattle and Pittsburgh. There also is only one prime-time appearance, which probably doesn’t sit too well with owner Jerry Richardson.
Welcome back Julius: Bank of America Stadium sometimes gets knocked for hosting a wine-and-cheese crowd. But I’m guessing it will seem more like the game’s being played in Philadelphia when the Chicago Bears come to town Oct. 10. They’ll be bringing Julius Peppers with them. He once could have been King of the Carolinas. But he never was comfortable in that role and forced the Panthers to get rid of him. Peppers also has been taking some pretty blatant shots at the Panthers since he signed with the Bears.
Panthers Regular Season Schedule (All times Eastern)
Week 1: Sunday, Sep. 12, at NY Giants, 1:00 PM
Week 2: Sunday, Sep. 19, Tampa Bay, 1:00 PM
Week 3: Sunday, Sep. 26, Cincinnati, 1:00 PM
Week 4: Sunday, Oct. 3, at New Orleans, 1:00 PM
Week 5: Sunday, Oct. 10, Chicago, 1:00 PM
Week 6: BYE
Week 7: Sunday, Oct. 24, San Francisco, 1:00 PM
Week 8: Sunday, Oct. 31, at St. Louis, 1:00 PM
Week 9: Sunday, Nov. 7, New Orleans, 1:00 PM
Week 10: Sunday, Nov. 14, at Tampa Bay, 1:00 PM
Week 11: Sunday, Nov. 21, Baltimore, 1:00 PM
Week 12: Sunday, Nov. 28, at Cleveland, 1:00 PM
Week 13: Sunday, Dec. 5, at Seattle, 4:15 PM
Week 14: Sunday, Dec. 12, Atlanta, 1:00 PM
Week 15: Sunday, Dec. 19, Arizona, 1:00 PM
Week 16: Thursday, Dec. 23, at Pittsburgh, 8:20 PM
Week 17: Sunday, Jan. 2, at Atlanta, 1:00 PM