Four Key Games for the Panthers in 2015

Before the schedule is released on Tuesday, we take a look at four games that should be the most interesting heading into 2015.

Dallas Cowboys

The Carolina Panthers will be traveling to Dallas to take on the Cowboys at some point in 2015. There is also a good chance that they will be facing their former teammate, Greg Hardy. The defensive end was one of the most polarizing player of recent memory on the Panthers. He missed almost the entire 2014 season when he was placed on the Commissioner Exempt list after Week 2 due to a domestic violence case from the previous summer.

Hardy was a free agent this offseason and signed a one-year contract with the Dallas Cowboys. Even though he is on the Cowboys, the Panthers may avoid playing Hardy who could still be suspended by the NFL due to his legal troubles.

If the Panthers play the Cowboys early in the season they may avoid Hardy, which is something Thomas Davis is hoping for. According to the Charlotte Observer Davis said, “No one really knows what the league’s going to do suspension-wise. But I hope we play them early in the season and we don’t have to face him.”

 

Seattle Seahawks

The Panthers have played the Seattle Seahawks four times in the past three years and have yet to come away with a win. Last season the teams faced each other twice, once in the regular and once in the playoffs, but the Panthers came up short both times.

The Seattle Seahawks have been one of the best teams in the NFC the past few seasons and have a similar philosophy to the Panthers. They are able to win games with a strong running game and a dominating defense. A win over Seattle would go a long way in legitimizing the team’s claim of being one of the top teams in the conference.

It will not be easy though as the Panthers will be traveling to Seattle this season, a place they have never won in their franchise history.

 

First Game with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Carolina Panthers swept the Bucs last year with backup quarterback Derek Anderson leading the offense in both games. The Panthers hope to have their number one overall pick from 2011, Cam Newton, to go up against the Bucs’ number one overall pick in this year’s draft.

The consensus seems to be that the Bucs will be selecting Florida State’s Jameis Winston less than two weeks from now with their number one pick. This is one game that the Panthers defense should be looking forward to and welcoming the rookie quarterback to the NFL.

 

Green Bay Packers

The Panthers went a stretch last year with eight losses in 10 games and one of the worst losses came at the hands of the Green Bay Packers. The game seemed to be over before it even started with the Packers jumping out to a 21-point lead after the first quarter and was leading 38-3 after the third.

Similar to the Seahawks, this game will be a good measuring stick for just how much this team, and particularly the defense, has improved from last season to now. Last year, Rodgers finished the game 19 of 22 for 255 yards and three touchdowns and the defense did not seem to have an answer to stopping them.

This year should be more competitive as the team was without three quarters of their starting secondary with Antoine Cason, Melvin White and Thomas Decoud playing in place of Josh Norman, Bene Benwikere and Tre Boston


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