Carolina Panthers fans have had August 11, 2012 circled on their calendars since the preseason schedules were announced earlier this year. The NFL preseason officially arrives in the Carolinas tonight when the Panthers host the Houston Texans at Bank of America Stadium.
Most of the starters for each team will play only a few series and nearly all of them will finish their nights by the end of the first quarter. On a Panthers team with plenty of position battles all over the field, there will still be plenty for Carolina fans to pay attention to once Cam Newton and Steve Smith have taken off their pads.
Here are five things to look for in the Carolina Panthers' first preseason game of 2012.