Fight Club

Patriots and Panthers can’t stop, won’t stop brawling, make Friday night’s preseason tilt must-see TV

August 17, 2022

Think about the NFL’s most legendary rivalries. Bears-Packers. Cowboys-Eagles. Steelers-Ravens. All classic biannual matchups brimming with bad blood and bragging rights. On that sliding scale, Patriots-Panthers doesn’t even rate. Sure, Super Bowl XXXVIII was a thriller, but one Super Bowl 16 years ago isn’t enough to fuel the rivalry furnace, especially when the teams only meet once every few years and have no historical hatred (or in the case of the Panthers, no historical anything.

All that could change after joint practices this week, however, where the Patriots and Panthers have been locked in one of the nastiest preseason meet-n’-greets in recent memory. Just check out the reports from Wednesday’s scrimmage alone …

That last one sparked the second benches-clearing brawl in as many days, which spilled into the crowd WWE-style.

In the scrum, a fan was reportedly injured when her foot was struck by errant helmet. In exchange for her troubles, she was offered free tickets to a Patriots game of her choosing this season. Not a bad trade for a sore metatarsal if you ask us …

So what does all of this chaos add up to? Is Patriots-Panthers the NFL’s new Chiefs-Raiders? That remains to be seen, but we can say one thing for certain:

Friday’s night preseason game between the two just became must-see TV. Cancel your plans, silence your phone, and getcha popcorn ready. Kick is at 7 p.m. sharp. Don’t be late.