2015 NFL Schedule: Analyzing the NFC South

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Carolina Panthers

Carolina have a favorable opening month of the 2015 season. They face Jacksonville, Houston, New Orleans and Tampa Bay — neither of these teams made the playoffs last term.

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The toughest of the four games, against the Texans and Saints, will be played at home. The NFC South champions will be confident of starting the season 4-0, but it gets a little scary after this run.

A four-game stretch including a trip to Seattle and home games against Philadelphia, Indianapolis and Green Bay is less than ideal.

Yes, three of those games are at home, but they will face two of the best quarterbacks in the NFL in Andrew Luck and Aaron Rodgers, as well as facing the task of trying to slow down last season’s leading rusher, DeMarco Murray.

The fact they play three of these games at home is a positive, and the Panthers could snatch a win or two. On the flip side, they could easily go 0-4 in this stretch.

The remaining of the season is up-and-down, without too many tests as tough as the four in the middle of the season.

Four of the Panthers’ final six games will be played on the road, including two divisional outings to New Orleans and Atlanta. Despite that, Dallas are the only team out of the six who reached the playoffs last season.

Prediction: 9-7

Next: Tampa Bay Buccaneers