NFL Carolina Panthers

5 Games That Will Define the Carolina Panthers’ 2014 Season

5 Games That Will Define Carolina's 2014 Season

Kelvin Benjamin Carolina Panthers schedule
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Panthers are one of the NFL’s more mysterious teams entering 2014, especially after stumbling to a 30-7 loss to the New England Patriots on Friday night. The Panthers’ regular season schedule certainly is no walk in the park with a string of six tough games in Weeks 5-10. Here are the five games that will shape the Panthers’ 2014 season.

5. Week 5 vs. Chicago Bears

Jay Cutler Chicago Bears
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

5. Week 5 vs. Chicago Bears

Jay Cutler Chicago Bears
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The Bears’ star-studded offense will give the Panthers a hard day’s work in this NFC power matchup. The losses of Captain Munnerlyn and Mike Mitchell in the secondary could be felt in this game if the Panthers struggle to slow down the Bears’ aerial attack.

4. Week 6 @ Cincinnati Bengals

A.J. Green Cincinnati Bengals
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

4. Week 6 @ Cincinnati Bengals

A.J. Green Cincinnati Bengals
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

A week after facing Brandon Marshall, things won’t get any easier against A.J. Green. This game could escalate into a high-scoring affair if Cam Newton is clicking on all cylinders with his new crop of receivers at this point in the season.

3. Week 7 @ Green Bay Packers

Aaron Rodgers Green Bay Packers
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

3. Week 7 @ Green Bay Packers

Aaron Rodgers Green Bay Packers
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

This will be a telling point in the season for the Carolina Panthers. A win over a perennial NFC contender at the tail end of a two-game road trip would be a huge momentum boost heading into a Week 8 date with the defending Super Bowl champions.

2. Week 8 vs. Seattle Seahawks

Earl Thomas Seattle Seahawks
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

2. Week 8 vs. Seattle Seahawks

Earl Thomas Seattle Seahawks
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Luckily for the Panthers, they don’t have to visit the realm of the 12th man for this marquee matchup. A lot can happen between now and late October, but a win here can definitely be considered a lofty goal right now.

1. Week 9 @ New Orleans Saints

Jimmy Graham New Orleans Saints
Derick E. HIngle-USA TODAY Sports

1. Week 9 @ New Orleans Saints

Jimmy Graham New Orleans Saints
Derick E. HIngle-USA TODAY Sports

The Panthers-Saints rivalry is definitely worth keeping tabs on this year, as these foes will likely be fighting tooth and nail for supremacy in the NFC South. This is the teams’ first encounter in 2014, and the winner will have the inside track on the division crown.

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