The Carolina Panthers are one of a handful of teams in the NFL that have a perfect record however many are quick to point to the level of opponents they have faced. The Panthers over the first four weeks beat the Jacksonville Jaguars, Houston Texans, New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers who have a combined record of 5-15.
Well these next four weeks will be a great test for the Panthers as they try to prove they deserve to be in the discussion of one of the top teams in the league. The team's next four games include a trip to Seattle to face the Seahawks next Sunday followed by home games against the Philadelphia Eagles, Indianapolis Colts and Green Bay Packers. These four teams have a combined record of 12-8 and all at the beginning of the season were considered teams that could contend for a playoff spot.
The biggest test though will come Sunday when the Panthers take on the Seahawks, as they travel to Seattle and try to earn the organizations first victory there. They have actually lost the last five games against the Seahawks, including last year in the divisional playoff game. While the Seahawks have won five consecutive games, they have generally been competitive with the Seahawks winning by a margin of only 8.8 points per game.
The other issue the Panthers are going to have to contend with is the fact that the game times and dates are changing. After dealing with the time zone difference for Seattle and a late start (game time at 4:05 PM EST), they will face the Eagles on Sunday Night Football and then the Colts on Monday Night Football. The toughest part may be they have to face the Packers, who is probably playing the best of these four teams, on a short week.
The positive of these four games though is the fact that after Seattle, it will be three straight home games. These four games won't be easy but playing at home for three of them certainly benefits Carolina.
There are plenty of questions surrounding the Carolina Panthers and the legitimacy of their 4-0 start. If the Panthers have a strong performance over these next four weeks, those questions won't remain at the halfway point of the 2015 season.