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Panthers-Jaguars rivalry is revived, but not Jags' offense

Perhaps you're new around here - and isn't most everyone - so you may not know that the NFL hatched a rivalry when it created the Panthers and Jaguars back in the mid-1990s, also known as the Hootie and the Blowfish era. As Charlotte and Jacksonville were lobbying for expansion franchises, things got a little testy.

We, of course, thought Charlotte was the obvious place to put an NFL team because of our banks, our businesses and the fact Charlotte isn't located in Jacksonville, Fla.

It worked.

Somehow, though, Jacksonville also got a team with one stipulation - the team colors had to be made from all the colors no other team wanted.

For a while, both the Panthers and the Jaguars measured themselves against the other. The Panthers reached the NFC Championship game in the 1996 season. The Jags reached the AFC Championship that same season.

You name it, we compared it.

Records. Coaches. Stadium beer prices.

Then it began to fade.

The Panthers went to a Super Bowl. The Jaguars did not.

The Panthers went 2-14. The Jaguars did not.

Mediocrity set in.

And a rivalry died.

It gets renewed in Charlotte on Sunday - the Panthers' rookie quarterback Cam Newton against Jags rookie Blaine Gabbert. Kinda like old times.

JACKSONVILLE at CAROLINA: Two weeks in, the Panthers have the NFL's newest star but no victories. Here's one for Jon Beason and Thomas Davis. Panthers 27, Jaguars 13.

DETROIT at MINNESOTA: From the things you never thought you'd hear department: The Lions have won 10 games in a row. OK, four of them were in the preseason this year, but it's time to show the Motor City some love. And they're not finished yet. Lions 28, Vikings 20.

SAN FRANCISCO at CINCINNATI: Andy Dalton is Cincinnati's version of Cam Newton, only without all the attention. 49ers 27, Bengals 24.

MIAMI at CLEVELAND: According to something called fantab.com, fan confidence in the Dolphins plummeted last week, which raises the question of who believed in the Fish to begin with? Browns 21, Dolphins 20.

NEW ENGLAND at BUFFALO: The Bills are 2-0 and suddenly trendy. Plus, they have the world's only Harvard grad quarterback in Ryan Fitzpatrick. And if you're keeping score, Harvard leads Yale 8-5 in U.S. Presidents. Patriots 33, Bills 20.

NEW YORK GIANTS at PHILADELPHIA: What's the difference between these teams? Eagles' QB Michael Vick was spitting blood when he was helped off the field Sunday night. Some Giants players were faking injuries to slow down the Rams Monday night. Eagles 28, Fakers 13.

DENVER at TENNESSEE: The who cares game of the week. Titans 23, Broncos 20.

HOUSTON at NEW ORLEANS: Winner gets naming rights for the Gulf of Mexico this season. Saints 31, Texans 30.

NEW YORK JETS at OAKLAND: You heard it here first...or second...or third...Raiders 24, Jets 17.

BALTIMORE at ST. LOUIS: Rams quarterback Sam Bradford can be sure of one thing - Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis won't be faking anything. Ravens 24, Rams 17.

KANSAS CITY at SAN DIEGO: The Chiefs are 0-2, have been outscored 89-10 and lost their best running back to a knee injury. I'd say it can't get worse but...Chargers 45, Chiefs 3.

ATLANTA at TAMPA BAY: When in doubt, go with Matt Ryan. Falcons 26, Bucs 20.

ARIZONA at SEATTLE: The Seahawks take another step toward becoming the 2011 version of the 2010 Panthers. Cardinals 29, Seahawks 17.

GREEN BAY at CHICAGO: Classics - like navy blazers, "Casablanca" and a really good filet - never go out of style. Neither does this matchup. Packers 28, Bears 21.

PITTSBURGH at INDIANAPOLIS: Am I the only one who has the feeling we might have seen Peyton Manning's last NFL game? Hope I'm wrong - again. Steelers 34, Colts 13.

WASHINGTON at DALLAS: Now don't you feel bad about all the things you said about Tony Romo after that first weekend? If not, you should. Cowboys 24, Redskins 14.

Last week: 13-2

Overall: 21-9

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