This bizarre NFL streak has already claimed seven victims in 2022 and it could claim another one in Week 9


When the Falcons face the Chargers on Sunday, they’ll be trying to do something that no other team in the NFL has done this season: Win their first game after facing the Carolina Panthers. 

In one of the most bizarre streaks of the year, every team that has faced the Panthers this season has gone on to lose its next game. It doesn’t matter how any team did in their actual game against the Panthers, this curse only impacts their next game: They always lose. 

Let’s take a quick look at the streak: 

  • Panthers Week 1 opponent: Browns (Cleveland loses 31-30 to the Jets in Week 2)
  • Panthers Week 2 opponent: Giants (New York loses 23-16 to the Cowboys in Week 3)
  • Panthers Week 3 opponent: Saints (New Orleans loses 28-25 to the Vikings in Week 4)
  • Panthers Week 4 opponent: Cardinals (Arizona loses 20-17 to the Eagles in Week 5)
  • Panthers Week 5 opponent: 49ers (San Francisco loses 28-14 to the Falcons in Week 6)
  • Panthers Week 6 opponent: Rams (L.A. got a bye in Week 7 and then lost to the 49ers in Week 8)
  • Panthers Week 7 opponent: Buccaneers (Tampa Bay loses 27-22 to the Ravens in Week 8)
  • Panthers Week 8 opponent: Falcons (TBA)

That’s seven teams, and they’ve gone 0-7 after facing the Panthers. 

This streak is taking down everyone. Even teams that have been huge favorites have lost the following week after facing the Panthers. For instance, the Browns were a 6.5-point favorite over the Jets, but they blew a 13-point lead in the final two minutes to lose. Let’s get a quick refresher on how that happened. 

The Browns kicked off the curse with that nightmare loss and it’s been ugly for everyone else ever since. 

Besides the Browns, the most surprising losses have come from the 6-2 Giants and the 49ers. The Giants were favored to beat the Cowboys in Week 3, but Cooper Rush led Dallas to a win. As for San Francisco, the 49ers were 4.5-point favorites over the Falcons in Week 6, but the curse of the Panthers got them in a game where Atlanta ended up winning by two touchdowns. 

Not even a bye could save the Rams. The Rams played the Panthers in Week 6, had a bye, and then lost to the 49ers in Week 8. 

With the Falcons coming off a wild game against the Panthers, they are next up in line to take on the curse. If the Falcons do end the curse, it will have to come in an upset win because they’re currently a three-point underdog against the Chargers. 

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