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Sunday Night Football Open Thread: Steelers v. Panthers

Tonight the 2-0 Panthers host the 1-1 Steelers at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, NC. Talk Sunday Night Football on Battle Red Blog.

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight's game between the Steelers and Panthers is a bit of a homecoming for sideline reporter Michele Tafoya, who once did radio in Charlotte under the name Mickey Conley.  Trivia:  Tafoya was the first female to call men's basketball games for UNC-Charlotte.

Here is some interesting history I found on Wikipedia about Charlotte, NC:

Nicknamed the Queen City, Charlotte and its resident county received its name in honor of Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, who had become queen consort of Great Britain the year before the city's founding. A second nickname derives from the American Revolutionary War, when British commander General Cornwallis occupied the city but was driven out by hostile residents, prompting him to write that Charlotte was "a hornet's nest of rebellion", leading to the nickname The Hornet's Nest.

The Panthers opened the season by beating he Bucanneers in Tampa Bay by a score of 20-14, followed by last week's home win over the Detroit Lions 24-7.  Carolina faces the Ravens next week in Baltimore, but tonight it's all about beating the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The black and gold clad Steelers opened their season with a win at home over the Cleveland Browns 30-27, but they lost to the Ravens in Baltimore last week 26-6.  Next week, Pittsburgh will host the hapless Buccaneers, who were just crushed by the Falcons 56-14 on Thursday Night Football.  Tonight, Ben Roethlisberger's 6th-ranked offense will have to get past Luke Kuechly and the Panthers' 5th-ranked defense.

Note that with only two games recorded for both teams, these rankings are all but meaningless and full of outlier-anomalies.  For example, in their last six quarters of football, the Steelers have been outscored by a whopping 50-9.

If you are into tracking the odds, SB Nation has you covered HERE:

The Carolina Panthers are 8-0 straight up and 7-0-1 against the spread over their last eight regular season games at home.  Carolina is a 3.5-point favorite at home according to sportsbooks monitored by Computer Prediction: 26-25 Carolina (per Odds Shark)

I'm putting my trust in the home team to win tonight's tilt in "The Hornet's Nest."  I can hear the music starting, so without further ado, I now hand the mic to Carrie Underwood.

The usual rules apply, and please enjoy your Sunday evening of football.