It has been eight years since New England visited Charlotte, and that’s an eternity in the NFL. The Panthers and Patriots have not played very often, but when they have, it has been memorable. They have only played five times in games that counted, but four of those have a spot in Panthers history. In order of importance, they were:
• The Panthers will wear black jerseys Monday night and want fans coming to the game to wear black as well for a “blackout” effect.
• This is scary good:Since the 2010 season, the Patriots are 24-1 in the second half of the regular season. Yes, that’s correct: 8-0 twice, 7-1 once and 1-0 this season.
• Brady is 13-4 on “Monday Night Football,” which means he has played more than one regular season’s worth of games on Monday night. Suffice it to say the moment is not going to be too big for him.
• I missed my Panthers’ pick last week, breaking a string of six straight hits. This time I think the Panthers will prevail, paced again by a defense that will rise to this momentous occasion. Prediction: Carolina 21, New England 18.