3 crucial matchups the Panthers must win vs. the Browns in Week 1

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Ikem Ekwonu
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Ikem Ekwonu /
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What are the crucial matchups that will likely determine the outcome of a hugely important Week 1 clash between the Carolina Panthers and Cleveland Browns?

The Carolina Panthers are heading into Week 1 with heavy storylines. Baker Mayfield and his abrupt departure from the Cleveland Browns is the foremost topic on everyone’s minds ahead of his instant chance for revenge at Bank of America Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Mayfield is doing everything right heading into the game, keeping a leveled calm demeanor despite the increased spotlight. Something that should serve him well during the contest.

The Oklahoma product and the Browns had a sloppy relationship going into the offseason. Cleveland chose Deshaun Watson over their previous starter that took them to the playoffs and their first playoff victory since 1994.

The Panthers as a whole will want to win for their starting quarterback. This provides the team with more motivation than usual during their season opener.

A win will be vital to Carolina’s season if the Panthers wish to contend for a wildcard spot in the NFC. Losing would be a tough pill to swallow as their schedule is very tough after the first three games.

With all the storylines heading into Week 1, here are three crucial matchups the Panthers must win to stand any chance of triumphing in front of their home fans.