Cards president expects early-season Panthers game

Could we see a Cardinals-Panthers rematch early next season?

Cardinals president Michael Bidwill hopes so, especially after the Panthers interrupted arguably the best regular season in franchise history and trounced Arizona, 49-15, in the NFC Championship game.

"Well, I think the league has a history of re-matching championship games early in the season, so I would expect that we'll see a rematch early," Bidwill said on KMVP-FM in Phoenix when asked what he has heard regarding rumors the Cardinals and Panthers would kick off the season on Thursday Night Football. "Hopefully it's going to be on national television. I don't care when it is, but I'd love to see that and we'll have to go back there -- hopefully with a pass rush -- and have a much different result."

The pass rush comment, in the context of the entire interview, was tongue-in-cheek for those wondering.

A Cardinals-Panthers rematch would be an excellent gift early in the regular season, as would a rematch between the Patriots and Broncos, depending on who is under center in Denver. By then, the Panthers could be a completely different team, and so could Arizona. Will the Cardinals get another good year out of Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald? How will Tyrann Mathieu play post-surgery?

Bidwill said that he tried not to think about the loss, but instead focus on the positives from a 2015 season that really put the Cardinals on the map despite a 10 and 11-win season for Arians coming before it. Beating Carolina early next season would be a strong signal that the good times will keep rolling.

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