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Panthers have fewest Thursday wins among NFL teams

It's not the news Panthers fans wanted to hear ahead of the team's Thursday night matchup with the Atlanta Falcons.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Carolina Panthers are hoping to get their season headed in the right direction with a divisional matchup against the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday.

It's a home game for the Panthers against an opponent they were a DJ Moore penalty and a missed extra point away from beating just two weeks ago. 

Taking the win over their NFC South foes is definitely doable. That is until you factor in one thing: the day of the week.

Thursdays have not been kind to the Panthers over the years. Carolina holds the fewest number of wins in Thursday games among NFL teams, earning just four victories in 13 tries.

A win against the Falcons in Week 10 would tie the Panthers with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who both have five wins and nine losses in Thursday games.

The Panthers' first Thursday game came against the Miami Dolphins in Week 11 of 2009. Jake Delhomme completed just 45 percent of his passes and the Panthers defense was outplayed by Dolphins Chad Henne and Ricky Williams. Carolina lost 24-17.

The following season, the Panthers got another shot at a Thursday game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Remarkably, Jimmy Clausen led the Panthers down the field for a field goal late in the fourth quarter that John Kasay successfully made. The only problem was it was the team's first score of the day and the Steelers had already scored 27 points.

After a blowout loss to the Giants in a Thursday game in 2012, the Panthers were 0-3 all-time playing on the day. Tragically, though, the NFL schedule makers kept giving the Panthers a Thursday game every year to play.

In 2013, the Panthers were matched to play the Buccaneers in a Thursday game in Week 8. By that point, the Panthers were looking like one of the NFC's best teams and the Bucs were 0-6. It was the perfect storm for the Panthers to take their first Thursday win.

Cam Newton threw two touchdowns and rushed for one as the Panthers kept the Buccaneers winless with a 31-13 victory. Finally, they could lift the weight off their shoulders and consistently win on Thursdays, right?

Well, the Panthers next Thursday game was a 28-10 loss to the New Orleans Saints as their losing ways on the day continued. 

In 2015, Carolina played their first game ever on Thanksgiving as they defeated the Dallas Cowboys 31-14. The Panthers scored two interception touchdowns and kept their record an unblemished 11-0.

Other than Thursday wins against the Saints in 2016 and the Texans in 2021, the Panthers have lost every other game played on Thursday.

It's an anomaly that has thwarted the team for over a decade. Interestingly, though, the Panthers do not hold the worst winning percentage on Thursdays. 

The Panthers' (.308) record on Thursdays is only better than the Arizona Cardinals (.289). The Cardinals have won just 11 of their 38 Thursday contests.

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Carolina is hoping to slightly improve their abysmal Thursday record against the Falcons in Week 10.

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