5 pivotal games that will define Carolina Panthers 2024 season

These games will be season-defining for the Carolina Panthers.
Dave Canales
Dave Canales / Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
4 of 5

Carolina Panthers vs. Chiefs - Week 12

This game has the opportunity to be one that everyone remembers. It could also end up becoming one that Carolina Panthers fans can add to their repressed memory section.

The Kansas City Chiefs are the best team in the NFL whether you want to admit it or not. By that nature, Andy Reid's squad is the measuring stick that all other teams are trying to match performance-wise.

This means that beating them is the icing on the cake of a successful season. A feather in the cap if you will.

The Panthers have not met the Chiefs since the 2020 season when Teddy Bridgewater was leading the team. This was a game that was closer than it had any business being. If Carolina can somehow pull off a similar feat, it just might surprise a lot of people.

Do I expect the Panthers to beat the reigning two-time Super Bowl champions? No. However, this game might not be the blowout many are anticipating.

Anything less will be a disappointment. This team has to prove that it can hang with the best - the cream of the NFL crop - if it wants the fanbase to have any hope for the future. There will be no pressure on them in this one, so Dave Canales can try different things and allow his players to operate with an extra sense of freedom in pursuit of shocking the football world.

One could make the argument that a close loss would do more for this team than a win. it would feel more real. It would be seen as progress and not just a fluke. That sounds strange, but the notion could have some weight depending on how things shake out.

If, and that is a big if, the Panthers can pull off a miracle against the Chiefs, it might go to show that the team is closer to competing than anyone thinks. Easier said than done, though.