Carolina Panthers vs. Falcons - Week 15
It'll be a long time before the Carolina Panthers see the Atlanta Falcons again after this weekend's regular-season opener. Both teams should look entirely different from the rusty football you're likely to witness at times in Week 1, but Frank Reich will be hoping home advantage can be enough for a much-needed triumph.
Bryce Young should be fully immersed in the offense and well up to speed with what's required in the NFL. The same goes for Desmond Ridder on the other side, although he doesn't have anything like the intangibles that the former Alabama stud brings to the table.
Prediction: Win (8-6)
This game should have some playoff-type urgency attached. If the Panthers handle the pressure well enough and the coaching staff also holds their nerve, they can win.
Carolina Panthers vs. Packers - Week 16
Much like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Green Bay Packers are venturing into the unknown this season without a legendary quarterback leading the charge. Aaron Rodgers is gone after being traded to the New York Jets, but there is a growing sense of belief that Jordan Love can perform much better than many anticipate.
Love has a good supporting cast of young playmakers and an offensive line that should provide enough time in the pocket, Green Bay also has a top-tier defense capable of keeping them in games when the offense isn't clicking.
Prediction: Loss (8-7)
The Panthers managed to dominate on Christmas Eve last year and could do the same again. But there can be no room for complacency against a Packers outfit that has the scope to become one of the NFL's surprises in 2023.