Carolina Panthers should embrace lack of primetime games
The Carolina Panthers are the underdogs.
With the new schedule release coming out last week, it was announced that the Carolina Panthers would get only one primetime game. At first glance, I thought it was a bad thing. After all, I want to see the Panthers on the big stage in big moments. Then, I thought about it some more. After the debacle against Pittsburgh on Thursday Night Football and the narrow defeat against the New Orleans Saints on Monday Night Football, I really do not mind if the panthers only have one primetime contest.
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The Carolina Panthers did not help themselves in the eyes of public perception last year. They struggled during primetime games and because Cam Newton seems to bring out negative reactions from media members, that only added fuel to their fire. I get it, they have a job to do. However, coming off an 11-5 season in 2018, expectations were extremely high for the Carolina Panthers. Most of the roster was returning from the previous year. Norv Turner was supposed to help set the offense further in motion. To his credit, he did in some areas. 2018 was the year that everything was supposed to fall into place.
Instead, everything fell short. With the Panthers going on a losing streak towards the end of the season, expectations were quickly shattered. The losing streak is undoubtedly why the Carolina Panthers only have one primetime game. After all, anyone who was making the schedule would not want to put a losing team in primetime if they could help it. That is of course unless you’re the Cleveland Browns with the newest addition of Odell Beckham Jr. Word on the street is, he’s pretty good at football.
I’m not going to say that expectations should be lowered for this year. If anything, they should be similar to last year. Panthers fans certainly expect the team to be better than they were last year. Last year seemed almost like an aberration. Of course, a lot of that will depend on what they do Thursday in what may be one of the most important Carolina Panthers drafts in recent memory. However, Panthers fans do expect wins, and I certainly do not fault them for that. After all, this roster certainly has the pieces to do so.
So while the national media and the league as a whole may not respect the Carolina Panthers, I can dig it. The Panthers are undoubtedly underdogs this year. I am fine with only one primetime game this year. If everything goes according to plan, there should be a lot more next season.