It’s a huge night for the Panthers and their excited fans as we get set to try and jump our next “legitimate contenders”/relevancy hurdle by way of the visiting Tom Brady and his New England Patriots. The 6-3 Panthers are sitting firmly in 2nd place behind the New Orleans Saints in the NFC South while New England, at 7-2, is in first place in the more competitive AFC East division. The Panthers had an epic, hard-fought – and won – battle against Phineas‘ 49ers at Candlestick Park back on the 10th, and look to build on their 5 game win streak tonight. With that win, many sports analysts began talking about the Panthers in a serious light as being a top team to beat, a team that has more than a fighting chance to make it to the playoffs – and perhaps beyond. A win tonight against the storied Patriots would stoke that commentary all the more. And of course Panthers Coach Ron Rivera and company would certainly welcome it.
The local sports media has gone crazy here the last few days talking about tonight’s game, almost to the point you’d think it was the 2004 Super Bowl battle between the two teams all over again. Needless to say, yours truly wants a much different outcome than that heartbreaking 29-32 loss. I would love a big “statement” kind of win from the Panthers. A “there is no question we have arrived” type of victory. Is that asking for too much?
Kick-off is at 8:40 PM ET and the game will be broadcast on ESPN, and locally in the Charlotte area on WSOC-TV. Temperatures should be in the mid-50s.