To paraphrase a popular hit song, the Carolina Panthers have the eye of the tiger and are ready to start making some loud noises of their own as they head into the second week of their softest four-game stretch of the season.
Following a dominant 35-10 road win over the Minnesota Vikings (1-5), the Panthers are 2-3 for the first time since 2009 and Ron Rivera has a chance to reach .500 for the first time in his head coaching career with a win over the visiting St. Louis Rams (3-3) this weekend.
To put Carolina's early season "success" in perspective, the Panthers have either been winless or maintained a losing record for 53 consecutive games.
The last time Carolina had a .500 record was after beating the New Orleans Saints, 23-10, on January 3, 2010, to finish the 2009-10 season at 8-8.
Matt Moore was the starting quarterback that day, John Fox was the coach, Cam Newton was enjoying the perks of college recruiting and Jimmy Clausen was an All-American football player at Notre Dame.
With a +41 point scoring differential—sixth-best in the NFL—in their first five games coming on the backs of three close losses and a pair of blowout victories, the Panthers could easily have three or four wins under their belts already this season.
Instead, the team with a 7-4 record in their last 11 games sits a game below .500 heading into Week 7.
So what makes me so sure the Panthers are in the midst of a four-game winning streak?