It is once again time for one of the dumbest exercises in sports – predicting wins & losses for the upcoming NFL season. We do this because football-starved fans just got hold of the season schedule, and we think we know what the teams will do. Never mind that the draft hasn’t taken place, nor has training camp with its inevitable run of ACL tears by players while climbing dorm room stairs. So penciling in who will win and lose right now is patently stupid.
And to show you how bloody brilliant I am, I’m about to do it myself.
Panthers 2018 schedule & predictions
Week 1: Sept. 9 vs. Dallas Cowboys, 4:25 p.m. (FOX) – Same old owner, same old coach, same old under-achieving team comes to Charlotte. WIN
Week 2: Sept. 16 at Atlanta Falcons, 1 p.m. (FOX) – Will the Poe addition offset the loss of TD? LOSS
Week 3: Sept. 23 vs. Cincinnati Bengals, 1 p.m. (CBS) – You’re kidding, right? WIN
Week 4: Sept. 30 – BYE – Like any good fan, I believe the NFL is out to get my team. This early bye was a deliberate attempt to keep Thomas Davis off the field for the longest possible time. ROGER-SUX
Week 5: Oct. 7 vs. New York Giants, 1 p.m. (FOX)– Despite what TV is telling you, teams don’t rally around their GM for a revenge game. WIN
Week 6: Oct. 14 at Washington Redskins, 1 p.m. (FOX) – Don’t give me the Josh Norman revenge crap. We beat him once already. WIN
Week 7: Oct. 21 at Philadelphia Eagles, 1 p.m. (FOX) – Uhhhhh…….. no. LOSS
Week 8: Oct. 28 vs. Baltimore Ravens, 1 p.m. (CBS) – A visit from one of the NFL’s most direction-less teams. WIN
Week 9: Nov. 4 vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1 p.m. (FOX) – Supposed to be good last year and weren’t. Supposed to be good this year and won’t be. WIN
Week 10: Nov. 8 at Pittsburgh Steelers, 8:20 p.m. (FOX/NFLN) – At Pittsburgh on a short week. This will get ugly quickly. LOSS
Week 11: Nov. 18 at Detroit Lions 1 p.m. (FOX)– A trendy pick for a Panthers loss. Trendy equals “based on fantasy.” WIN
Week 12: Nov. 25 vs. Seattle Seahawks 1 p.m. (FOX) – Another trendy pick for us to lose. Problem is, Seattle’s entire defense is retired or injured. WIN
Week 13: Dec. 2 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1 p.m. (FOX) – After I get over the shock of us not playing this Florida game in September, I refer to the commentary on the Week 9 game. WIN
Week 14: Dec. 9 at Cleveland Browns, 1 p.m. (FOX) – A lot better than 2016-17. And still a losing record. WIN
Week 15: Dec. 17 vs. New Orleans Saints, 8:15 p.m. (ESPN) – I keep reading the Panthers will lose “revenge” games – Dallas, Giants, Washington, Tampa… No one is talking about the Panthers getting revenge on the Saints. Probably for good reason. LOSS
Week 16: Dec. 23 vs. Atlanta Falcons, 1 p.m. (FOX) – More revenge. WIN
Week 17: Dec. 30 at New Orleans Saints, 1 p.m. (FOX) – And right back at us. LOSS
That puts us 11-5, probably the top wild card behind the 12-4 Saints and headed to LA to play the Rams in the wild card round, with a date in Philly awaiting the winner. And that will be the end of that. The Saints will get the #6 seed, one of Atlanta, Green Bay or Dallas. I’m guessing Green Bay. And I’m guessing the Saints get beat. Unfortunately for Erin Rodgers, it just means another game against the Vikings, who will be the #1 seed. And we are left with the same teams in the NFC title game again, Philly and Minny. Once again, the home team wins and the Vikes get to the Super Bowl one year AFTER it was played in their house.