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Predicting who the Panthers will play in Germany next season

The NFL already established that the Panthers will be playing a game in Germany next season. We take our best guess at who that is.

NFL: APR 27 2023 Draft Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

On Monday, we went over the Carolina Panthers home and road opponents for the 2024 season. The most intriguing games are mostly scheduled to be at the home of the Panthers. Patrick Mahomes, Joe Burrow, the Cowboys, the Giants, and Jim Harbaugh’s Chargers are all potentially coming through Bank of America Stadium. The one hang up to that fact is that one home game is going to be played in Munich, Germany.

As part of the NFL's 17-game schedule, every team has either nine home or nine away games each season. This is the Panthers year to have nine home games. That is being paired with their trip overseas to give them their ninth home game in their "home" international market of Germany.

So that begs the question—who are they going to play.

Last year, the Jaguars, Bills, Titans, Chiefs, and Colts “hosted” international games. That’s all AFC teams, and all but one game was played against another AFC team. The year prior, it was all NFC teams except for one game (it’s always those pesky Jaguars games that create these exceptions). It stands to reason that the Panthers are going to face another NFC team across the pond. That eliminates the Chiefs, Chargers, and Bengals.

Given the high stakes of divisional games, the NFL will probably stray away from making those international games. The only divisional match-up not played on American soil in recent years was 49ers vs Cardinals, but that was in Mexico City, which is at least on the North American continent. That eliminates the Bucs, Saints, and Falcons.

So here are the remaining opponents:

The Cowboys have only played internationally once, and that was all the way back in 2014. Only the Steelers have a longer international drought. That could mean the Cowboys are due, but it’s more likely that the league wants them to stay in the USA where they’re going to sell out every stadium they visit.

That leaves us with the Giants and Cardinals. Neither are great options from a football standpoint, but the Giants, their two recent-ish Super Bowl wins, and their New York origin probably have more brand recognition than the Arizona Cardinals. The NFL, for better or worse, tends to send semi-compelling match-ups overseas. They don’t want to put their worst product out there as a standalone game on the international stage.

So our official prediction for the Carolina Panthers 2024 opponent in Germany is...

the New York Giants.

Congratulations Giants. You can fly out to Germany to collect your prize.

(It’s a game against the Panthers. That’s the prize.)