CHARLOTTE – The Carolina Panthers are ready for primetime.
The Panthers, coming off a 12-4 season and an NFC South division championship, will host two primetime games for the first time since 1997 and are slated to appear in each of the NFL's three primetime slots.
Carolina's regular season schedule, which includes a stretch of five consecutive games against 2013 playoff participants beginning in Week 6, kicks off Sept. 7 at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
"Once again we knew it was going to be a challenging schedule regardless of the order of the games," head coach Ron Rivera said. "It is important that we be ready because we are playing two teams with new head coaches to start the season, and preparing for the uncertainties of a new staff can be difficult."
After opening at Tampa and first-year head coach Lovie Smith, the Panthers open their home slate Sept. 14 against the Detroit Lions and first-year head coach Jim Caldwell. Carolina then hosts its first primetime tilt of the season, welcoming the Pittsburgh Steelers to Bank of America Stadium for Sunday Night Football on NBC.
After traveling to Baltimore and hosting Chicago, the Panthers face five consecutive 2013 playoff teams beginning with a trip to the Cincinnati Bengals. They then visit the Green Bay Packers and host the reigning Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks before the stretch ends with back-to-back primetime games. Carolina hosts the New Orleans Saints in Week 9 on Thursday Night Football before travelling to Philadelphia in Week 10 for Monday Night Football.
Following the bye week in Week 12 – the latest bye week in team history - the final four weeks of the regular season feature three games against NFC South rivals.
|Fri.||Aug. 8 ||vs. Buffalo Bills ||Bank of America Stadium||7:30 p.m.||Panthers TV|
|Sun.||Aug. 17||vs. Kansas City Chiefs ||Bank of America Stadium ||8:00 p.m.||FOX|
|Fri.||Aug. 22||at New England Patriots ||Gillette Stadium ||7:30 p.m.||Panthers TV|
|Thu.||Aug. 28||at Pittsburgh Steelers||Heinz Field ||7:30 p.m.||Panthers TV|
|Sun.||Sept. 7 ||at Tampa Bay Buccaneers ||Raymond James Stadium||4:25 p.m.||FOX|
|Sun.||Sept. 14||vs. Detroit Lions ||Bank of America Stadium||1:00 p.m.||FOX|
|Sun.||Sept. 21||vs. Pittsburgh Steelers ||Bank of America Stadium||8:30 p.m.||NBC|
|Sun.||Sept. 28||at Baltimore Ravens||M&T Bank Stadium||1:00 p.m.||CBS|
|Sun.||Oct. 5 ||vs. Chicago Bears ||Bank of America Stadium||1:00 p.m. *||FOX|
|Sun.||Oct. 12||at Cincinnati Bengals ||Paul Brown Stadium ||1:00 p.m. *||FOX|
|Sun.||Oct. 19 ||at Green Bay Packers ||Lambeau Field ||1:00 p.m. *||FOX|
|Sun.||Oct. 26||vs. Seattle Seahawks||Bank of America Stadium||1:00 p.m. *||FOX|
|Thur.||Oct. 30 ||vs. New Orleans Saints ||Bank of America Stadium||8:25 p.m.||NFLN|
|Mon.||Nov. 10||at Philadelphia Eagles||Lincoln Financial Field ||8:30 p.m.||ESPN|
|Sun.||Nov. 16||vs. Atlanta Falcons ||Bank of America Stadium||1:00 p.m. *||FOX|
|Sun.||Nov. 23||BYE |
|Sun.||Nov. 30 ||at Minnesota Vikings||TCF Bank Stadium ||1:00 p.m. *||FOX|
|Sun.||Dec. 7 ||at New Orleans Saints||Mercedes-Benz Superdome||1:00 p.m. *||FOX|
|Sun.||Dec. 14||vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers ||Bank of America Stadium||1:00 p.m. *||FOX|
|Sun.||Dec. 21||vs. Cleveland Browns ||Bank of America Stadium||1:00 p.m. *||CBS|
|Sun.||Dec. 28||at Atlanta Falcons||Georgia Dome||1:00 p.m. *||FOX|
|* - Subject to flexible scheduling.|
The Panthers could end up making more than three primetime appearances with the NFL extending flexible scheduling in 2014. Typically reserved for Weeks 11-17, flex scheduling can begin as early as Week 5 this season, though it can't be applied more than twice through Week 10.
Flex scheduling allows Sunday afternoon games to be moved to Sunday night, in which case the original Sunday night game would move to an afternoon start time. Sunday games can also be moved from a 1 p.m. start to a kickoff time in the four o'clock hour, and vice versa.
Flex scheduling will not affect games airing on Thursday, Saturday or Monday nights. A flex scheduling move would be announced at least 12 days before the game. For Week 17, the Sunday night game will be announced no later than six days prior to December 28.