There is no easy schedule in the NFL for any team. Based on the opponents 2012 records, the Carolina Panthers have been calculated as having the toughest schedule. We all know that this is subject to change.
While there may be no easy schedules in the NFL, and this may all be based off a mathematical calculation, but the Panthers have no easy stretches on this schedule, either. We weren’t done any favors. Week one brings Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks to town. The Seahawks barely got a win last season in Carolina in a nail biter. Week two sees a jaunt to Buffalo to take on the Bills, then back to Carolina for the New York Football Giants. Two out of the first three weeks of the season see us playing very tough teams. The Giants annihilated us at BofA Stadium on Thursday Night Football last season, and the Seahawks blossomed into a very dangerous team.
After a mercilessly early bye week for a team as oft-injured as the Panthers, we take on the Cardinals in Arizona and then we start the brutal part of our schedule. Adrian Peterson and the Vikings at home follow the Cardinals, then we take on the St. Louis Rams at home. The Rams? Yes, the Rams. The Rams are re-loading and I believe that Jeff Fisher has this team primed to be contenders in the NFC West. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers follow on TNF giving us a short week for a division rival. One that swept us last year.
A hop on 85 South takes us down to Atlanta for the lethal Falcons, then the 49ers in San Francisco, and then New England in Carolina on Monday Night Football. That’s a six game stretch of brutal opponents. We have to be on the winning side of this stretch just as much as we have to be on the winning side of our first three games. For us to have a shot at the playoffs we’re going to need to be 6-4 or 7-3 by the end of this tough stretch. Not an impossible task, but certainly a Titan of a challenge
The worst part of this part of our schedule is that we still have to play the New Orleans Saints twice, and the Bucs and Falcons one more time each. The Dolphins and Jets would seem like gimme games, but as previously stated, there are no easy schedules in the NFL. The cliched term Any Given Sunday comes to mind. There are just no guarantees. Another tough season looms for the Carolina Panthers. Let’s just hope that the players and coaching staff are up to the challenge.