On Pats-Panthers and beyond

'Monday Night Football' matchup suddenly has legitimate intrigue

Updated: November 12, 2013, 4:31 PM ET
By Mike Reiss | ESPNBoston.com

It is always fun to retrace steps when a situation like next week's arises -- Patriots at Panthers on ESPN's "Monday Night Football."

When the NFL's schedule was released in April, this is what I wrote: "The Patriots play one Monday night game, at Carolina, and who had that one picked for prime time?"

It seemed like an outlier. Why the Panthers?

As it turns out, it might be ESPN's best game to date -- the 7-2 Patriots against the 6-3 Panthers, who have won five straight.

That ...

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