Five intriguing aspects of Panthers' 2015 schedule

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Now that we know when the Panthers are facing their 2015 opponents, here's a look at five intriguing elements of the schedule.

1. Back-to-back primetime home games

The Panthers will be in the primetime spotlight in consecutive weeks. First, they host the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday night in Week 7 (the Eagles handed Carolina a 45-21 defeat on Monday Night Football a year ago). Then, they host the Indianapolis Colts on Monday Night Football in Week 8.

The Panthers are 13-20 all-time in primetime games. They were 0-3 in primetime last year, though they did win a playoff game in primetime.

2. Rest up for heavyweight battles

Carolina's bye week came in Week 12 last year, but it will be a much shorter wait in 2015. The Panthers' bye week comes in Week 5 this year. That bye will allow them to gear up for a daunting stretch that includes the aforementioned primetime games. Carolina travels to Seattle to face the two-time reigning NFC champion Seahawks before a three-week home stand against the Eagles, Colts and Green Bay Packers.

3. Thanksgiving in Dallas

For the first time in team history, Carolina will play on Thanksgiving. The Panthers will travel to Dallas to play the Cowboys, who have hosted a Thanksgiving game for 36 consecutive years. The Panthers will likely face former defensive end Greg Hardy, who signed with the Cowboys as an unrestricted free agent this offseason.

4. Hitting the road down the stretch

Four of the Panthers' final six games will be played on the road. The month of December includes visits to division rivals New Orleans (Week 13) and Atlanta (Week 16) and what will likely be a cold weather environment against the New York Giants (Week 15).

Since head coach Ron Rivera's first season in 2011, he is 15-3 in December, tying him with New England's Bill Belichick and Seattle's Pete Carroll for the best record during that span.

5. Season finale at home

The Panthers will close out the regular season at home for the first time since 2009 when they host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Carolina has fared well in regular season finales of late, winning their last three.

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