Keep Pounding: Panthers fans excited for first home game of the season

DeJuan Hoggard Image
Monday, September 18, 2023
Keep Pounding: Panthers fans excited for first home game of the season
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Despite an opening-week loss, Panthers fans are optimistic about the teams' prime-time home opener.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WTVD) -- It's a brand new year and an opportunity to right the wrongs for Carolina Panthers head coach Frank Reich and his roster after a tough opening-game loss to the Atlanta Falcons.

Week 2 of the 2023 NFL season wraps up with two Monday Night Football matchups. The Panthers get it started with the visiting New Orleans Saints on ESPN. An hour later, the Cleveland Browns tangle with the Pittsburgh Steelers on ABC11.

The Saints are 1-0 entering Monday evening's matchup. The Panthers are hoping to show signs of recovery and improvement following the 24-10 season-opening defeat.

Panthers rookie quarterback Bryce Young, the No. 1 overall pick, threw for one touchdown and 146 yards while tossing two interceptions in his pro debut.

"This is going to be an interesting game for him. This is a win or lose for him. He needs to do what he got to do if he can do it," said Saints fan George Hightower. "We're going to find out. But the Saints are tough baby! This ain't the game to be trying to win and breaking in."

Hightower was outnumbered by a collective of Panthers fans who hoped Young and Co. produce a primetime win.

"I think there's potential for him. Give him a season and see what happens," said Panthers fan Audrey Shubaitah. She and her friend Jesse Thomas drove 12 hours on Sunday from Milton, Ontario, Canada, to Charlotte for the game.

"(People) were like how are you friends when you're Panthers and you're crazy," Shubaitah said, speaking of her friend who is cheering on the Saints. "We drove 12 hours yesterday. We're here for the game," added Thomas. "We'll drive 12 hours home tomorrow. Just for the game!"

Meanwhile, Tammy and Jamal Pointe drove four hours from Jacksonville, North Carolina, to celebrate their 10-year wedding anniversary.

"I just want a win," said Tammy Pointe, who surprised her husband with tickets for the game.

"I want a win and improvement from the quarterback play," Jamal Pointe said. "I want our offense to be exploding and put some points on the board. That's what I want to see."

And if there's any dispute over the hype, PJ Burton from Winston-Salem declared, "(The Saints) know we coming! We're gonna be here! We know the Saints fans are going to show up and show out. But they say who dat, we say we dat! So, we here!"