Carolina struggling on national television has become a well-worn team truth. Ron Rivera's squad tended to shrink into the shadows when the lights got the brightest, but recently the Panthers have learned how to win -- even if it means playing ugly. Now we look back at those prior 10 games on Monday Night Football to see where they've gone right and wrong.
The Panthers hold a 6-4 total record on Monday Night Football, with a 1-1 record in the last three years. Carolina last won in 2012, when Cam Newton threw for 306 yards and two touchdowns in a 30-22 win over the hapless Philadelphia Eagles.
New England carry a 7-2 record into Charlotte, which represents the second-toughest incoming schedule the Panthers have faced on a Monday night game. The best team the Panthers have seen was the 1997 San Francisco 49ers, who were 9-1 when the sides met. Carolina lost 34-21 as Garrison Hearst ran for 141 yards and a touchdown.
Despite losing four times on MNF the Panthers have never been embarrassed. The team's worst loss game in 2009, losing to the Dallas Cowboys 21-7 when a Jake Delhomme interception was returned by Terrence Newman for a touchdown.
Tonight's game represents the first time Carolina has played an AFC team on Monday Night Football. Despite playing ten total games there hasn't been much variety.
|Green Bay Packers||3||2000, 2004, 2005|
|Dallas Cowboys||2||1997, 2009|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||2||2006, 2008|
|Philadelphia Eagles||2||2006, 2012|
|San Francisco 49ers||1||1997|
The most memorable team win on Monday Night Football came in 2008. It was the GIF-inducing, run game slug-fest that saw DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart dominate the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The two players ran for a combined 301 yards and four touchdowns. It was the epitome of ground and pound football, and a true pleasure.
Which way will tonight's game go? That's unclear. One thing that is apparent is that the Panthers tend to play Monday night games close. It will be a fascinating matchup and could be the game of the year.