High hopes for Panthers, pre-season game ends in loss - | WBTV Charlotte

High hopes for Panthers, pre-season game ends in loss

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The Carolina Panthers held its first pre-season game at Bank of America stadium on Saturday.

The Cats lost 13-26 to Houston.

The team hit the gridiron after several weeks at training camp. Expectant fans turned out in record number for practices. But many got their first peek at this season's team on Saturday.

"It feels good to be around other Panthers fans …you feel high spirits..good energy here..good chi," Fan Jennifer Roig said.

"Get a good look at what we've worked on and what we have to work on throughout the season," Fan Chris O'Brien said.

The home team was one of the league's biggest surprises last year after turning out more wins than expected. And fans WBTV spoke with on Saturday say they're still hanging their hat on quarterback Cam Newton again this season.

"I think Cam Newton has definitely developed after last year…along with Steve Smith it's going to be a great year..I think we are going to make the playoffs and be good contenders to make the Superbowl," O'Brien said.

It's the way some players are thinking too. In a full page spread in the Charlotte Observer last month, Ryan Kalil claimed this year the team would make it to the Superbowl and rallied fan support.

"Based on how he feels and what he believes, I'm right behind him. In fact, I'm stepping out saying the same thing. This is a group of guys who work hard the sky can be limit," Coach Ron Rivera said.

The Panthers head back to camp until Aug. 15. Their next game will be played Aug. 17 at Bank of America stadium against Miami.

Copyright 2012 WBTV. All rights reserved.

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