CHARLOTTE – The Panthers will open and close their 25th regular season at home for the first time in a decade, squaring off against last year’s NFC Championship game participants to begin and end their 2019 slate.
Carolina opens up Sunday, September 8 against the reigning NFC champion Rams and closes on Sunday, December 29 against the reigning NFC South champion Saints – both at Bank of America Stadium. The last time the schedule was bookended by home games was 2009.
The Panthers will also play at home in Week 2, hosting division foe Tampa Bay on Thursday Night Football – Carolina’s lone true primetime game barring flex-scheduling changes down the line. The Panthers have played at home in both Week 1 and 2 just twice previously, and both of those seasons (2003, 2005) produced trips to the NFC title game.
This year’s schedule is much more demanding travel-wise than last year’s, when the regular season finale at New Orleans qualified as the longest road trip. After the two-game homestand to open, the next two games are at Arizona and at Houston, followed shortly thereafter by consecutive games in London against the Buccaneers and in San Francisco against the 49ers.
The good news is that Carolina’s bye falls in Week 7 between the London and California trips, and after the Week 3 and 4 road trips, the Panthers don’t have road games in consecutive weeks. They also don’t have back-to-back home games after Weeks 1 and 2, alternating between home and away from Week 8 on. Also beginning in Week 9 when the Titans visit, all of Carolina’s games are scheduled to start at 1 p.m. Eastern.
The second half of the schedule includes all four meetings with NFC South foes Atlanta and New Orleans, capped by the Saints’ first Week 17 trip to Charlotte since 2009. The Panthers have wrapped up the regular season in New Orleans three times since then.
In addition to facing quarterbacks Drew Brees and Matt Ryan twice each over the second half of the schedule, the late slate includes trips to Aaron Rodgers and the Packers in Week 10 and Andrew Luck and the Colts in Week 16, as well as a seemingly annual meeting against Russell Wilson and the Seahawks in Week 16 at Bank of America Stadium. Despite their distance geographically, Carolina and Seattle will square off for the eighth time in as many seasons on December 15.
The Panthers have also finalized dates and times for their preseason schedule.