My first NFL game: Patriots vs Panthers

My first NFL game: Patriots vs Panthers

By: James Jackson

August 25, 2018

The reigning AFC kings rolled into the 'Queen City' of Charlotte, North Carolina as the Patriots took on the Panthers. This wasn’t just any NFL game to me. This was my first NFL game.

I’ve been a long time Patriots fan and to say I was excited would be an understatement. I mean I was in the same build as Tom Brady. I went to the game with my older brother. That meant a lot to go with him, sure he was rooting for the Panthers and made sure to rub it in when they scored but that’s what brothers are for right?

Obviously going to an away game as a Patriots fan was going to be tough, considering a lot of people don’t like the Patriots. I was wrong however, the Panthers fans were rather welcoming. There was a lot of Patriots fans in the building so at least I wasn’t alone.

My seat was section 536, row 34, seat 1. We were at the very top of the Bank of America stadium. I couldn’t help but get hype when Disturbed’s ‘Down With The Sickness’ came on and the Panthers players ran out of the tunnel. I may not be a Panthers fan but that was really cool.

Once kickoff came, I was so excited to finally get to see the Patriots play. I remember Cam Newton got hurt early. He went to scramble for a first down and was tackled as Newton went to jump. That caused Newton to land on his head and it was a nasty landing.

The game was really one sided as the Panthers just kept scoring. The Patriots defense wasn’t coming up with big plays and allowed the Panthers run game to be shoved down their throats. The Patriots offense wasn’t stellar either, as they only had one touchdown and a two-point conversion.

Eagles legend Vince Papale told me in a previous interview that he thinks the way the NFL handles preseason now is a “joke”. I see what he means by that, as teams barely play starters and mainly play the games safe. However this preseason game was still really amazing. The Panthers scored a lot and they really played great football. The Patriots just got out played and eventually lost 25-14.

The man sitting next to my brother and I reminded me that even though the Patriots lost, they still scored more points than the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles, who had just to the Cleveland Browns 5-0 the night before. So with that in my head, I left the game happy. I saw my favorite players Tom Brady, Julian Edelman, Rob Gronkowski and Duron Harmon. It was honestly a perfect night and I hope to go to more games in the future.


James Jackson/Under Review