Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 5/17/12
Overall Analysis
The Carolina Panthers will have a difficult start to the season, playing each division opponent while also playing the defending Super Bowl Champion New York Giants in Week 3.

However, weeks 5-13 should be somewhat easier for Carolina as they will have a bye week, and will play against eight teams that won eight or fewer games in 2011.

Carolina will play Atlanta at home in Week 14, before playing the San Diego Chargers and the Oakland Raiders, and before finishing the season playing on the road against the New Orleans Saints.

The rest of this article breaks down further how Carolina has previously preformed against their 2012 opponents.  

NFC South
The Carolina Panthers have a 43-48 all-time record against current NFC South teams, accumulating a 17-17 record against the New Orleans Saints, a 12-22 record against the Atlanta Falcons and a14-9 record against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

AFC West
The Carolina Panthers are a young franchise and have only played against teams currently in the AFC West 15 times, with a record of 8-7. Carolina’s best record is against San Diego at 3-1, while accumulating a 2-2 record against Kansas City and Oakland and a 1-2 record against the Denver Broncos.

Carolina’s last meeting with an AFC opponent was a 30-10 win over the Denver Broncos on December 14, 2008.

The AFC West is a division that made many moves in free agency and the Draft, and it could be difficult for Carolina to maintain a winning record against the AFC West.

NFC East
While Carolina is an impressive 3-0 against current NFC East teams in the playoffs, they are a woeful 8-23 against those teams in the regular season. Carolina is 3-3 against the New York Giants, 3-7 against the Washington Redskins, 1-5 against the Philadelphia Eagles and 1-8 against the Dallas Cowboys.

Carolina’s last meeting with an NFC East opponent was last season when Carolina beat the Washington Redskins 33-20.

The NFC East was an average division last year with division king, the New York Giants, only winning nine games in the regular season. Carolina will have their hands full against the Giants, but could match up well against the division’s other teams.

Other Opponents
In 2012, Carolina will also play the Chicago Bears and the Seattle Seahawks. Carolina has an overall record of 2-4 in the regular season against Chicago, and their last meeting was on October 2, 2011, with Chicago winning by the score of 34-29.

Carolina has a regular season record of 2-2 against the Seattle Seahawks, and their last meeting was December 5, 2010, with Seattle winning by the score of 31-14.

Final Analysis  
Carolina is doing well with rebuilding their franchise and could match up well with weaker teams, but could have trouble winning in an a resurgent NFC South, which will mean Carolina’s campaign will end at the conclusion of the regular season. 

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