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Carolina Panthers: Top 5 Early-Season Storylines

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Carolina Panthers: Top 5 Early-Season Storylines
Cam Newton (1) and the Carolina Panthers have already tasted victory and defeat in their first two games.

Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers (1-1) have already experienced the highs and the lows of a typical NFL season in their first two games against NFC South divisional foes, with a disappointing road loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-1) and an expectations-raising home win against the New Orleans Saints (0-2).

With the 2012 NFL regular season barely two weeks old, Newton has avoided the dreaded sophomore slump, the Panthers' running game has been dominated and dominant, and Thomas Davis has become an inspiration to weekend warriors everywhere.

The Panthers are sitting at .500 halfway through the most important four-game stretch of the season, with three divisional games and a Thursday night showdown this week against the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants, and no one knows for sure which team is going to show up the rest of the season.

Their 16-10 road loss to the Bucs was flat and uninspired while their 35-27 victory over the Saints has fans thinking that Ryan Kalil may not have totally lost his marbles when he predicted the Panthers would win the Super Bowl this season.

Carolina will get a chance to show the world what they are made of this week in their showcase game against the Giants, and they will likely dominate the nation's sports radio airwaves on Friday, for better or for worse.

Here is a look at the Panthers' top five early-season headlines through the first two weeks of the season.

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