Panthers open at home, have 2 national TV dates

Apr. 18, 2013 @ 10:57 PM

The Panthers open the NFL season at home for the first time since 2009 and will play two nationally televised games.

Carolina hosts Seattle in the Sept. 8 season opener.

Carolina's nationally televised games include a Thursday night game Oct. 24 against division rival Tampa Bay on NFL Network and a Nov. 18 contest at home against the New England on ESPN Monday Night Football, a rematch of the Super Bowl 10 years ago.

For the second time in three seasons under coach Ron Rivera the Panthers will play the most difficult schedule in the NFL based on the winning percentage of opponents last season.

Six games are against playoff teams from last season — Seattle, Atlanta, and New England at home and Minnesota, San Francisco and Atlanta on the road.

After Seattle, the Panthers visit Buffalo on Sept. 15and then return home the following Sunday to host the New York Giants before an early bye in Week 4.

Carolina's other road games include Arizona (Oct. 6), Minnesota (Oct. 13), San Francisco (Nov. 10), Miami (Nov. 24), New Orleans (Dec. 8) and Atlanta (Dec. 29).

Carolina's other home games are against St. Louis (Oct. 20), Atlanta (Nov. 3), Tampa Bay (Dec. 1), the N.Y Jets (Dec. 15) and New Orleans (Dec. 22).

"We are excited to see the 2013 schedule and look forward to opening at home after being on the road to open the season the last two years," Rivera said. "We knew when we saw the opponents at the end of the year, it would be a difficult schedule, but it is a challenge that has our coaches and players excited."