Carolina Panthers: Monday Night Football provides extra motivation


Monday Night Football provides extra motivation for the Carolina Panthers.

The Carolina Panthers are in the midst of their worst losing streak since 2014, when they lost six in a row but managed to still make the playoffs. A similar occurrence could happen this season as Carolina would regain some footing and hope with a victory over NFC South leading New Orleans on Monday night.

The Saints are 11-2 but Carolina has played much better inside Bank of America Stadium and will also benefit from knowing how the outcome impacts their current standing. A win would leave them in the thick of a battle for the playoffs while another loss would potentially be devastating.

Currently, the Panthers only cling to about a nine-percent chance of making the playoffs but a win increases that significantly and based on other results would provide a spark for the final two weeks of the regular season. Even three straight wins would not guarantee a playoff berth as Carolina needs some help along their way.

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Losses by Minnesota, Washington, Philadelphia and Green Bay would give the Panthers a huge boost of momentum leading up to kickoff on Monday night. These favorable results would push the Panthers chances of getting into the playoffs up over 50-percent according to the FiveThirtyEight simulator.

None of these are out of the question with Minnesota facing a tough Miami team, Green Bay up against their division leader at Chicago, in addition to Washington and Philadelphia playing with backup quarterbacks. While Carolina knows they need a win, getting to see how an outcome effects the current standing is beneficial – if each of those teams wins, a loss eliminates the Panthers.

Coach Ron Rivera is 5-2 on Monday night and after a disappointing Thursday night performance in front of a national audience at Pittsburgh, Carolina has something to prove. Many across the country were only able to see a Panthers team get routed by quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers. While Drew Brees provides a tough test of his own, some extra motivation should be present for the Panthers under the lights.

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The Panthers and Saints kick off Monday Night Football at 8:15pm to conclude Week 15 play.