- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 7, 2016

CAROLINA (17-2) at DENVER (15-4)

Thursday, 8:40 p.m. EST, NBC

OPENING LINE - Panthers by 3

SERIES RECORD - Broncos lead 4-1

LAST MEETING - Broncos beat Panthers 24-10 in Super Bowl 50, Feb. 7, 2016



AP PRO32 RANKING - Panthers No. 1, Broncos No. 6

BRONCOS OFFENSE - OVERALL (16), RUSH (17), PASS (14).

BRONCOS DEFENSE - OVERALL (1), RUSH (3), PASS (1).

PANTHERS OFFENSE - OVERALL (11), RUSH (2), PASS (24).

PANTHERS DEFENSE - OVERALL (6), RUSH (5), PASS (11).

STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES - First time past two Super Bowl participants have met in Week 1 since Kansas City-Minnesota in 1970. … Carolina has NFL-best 33-10 record since Week 6 of 2013 season. … Panthers were 7-1 on road in 2015. …League MVP Cam Newton led NFL with 45 combined touchdowns last season. Newton had 24 TD passes and no INTs in red zone. … Carolina led NFL in scoring with 500 points. … Panthers have run for at least 100 yards in 32 straight games, including playoffs. .. WR Kelvin Benjamin returns after missing 2015 season with torn ACL. Benjamin led Panthers with 73 receptions for 1,008 yards and nine touchdowns in 2014. … WR Ted Ginn Jr. coming off career-high 10 TD receptions last year. … TE Greg Olsen has 29 TD receptions in past five seasons. … RB Jonathan Stewart needs 1,008 yards rushing to become franchise’s all-time career leader. … Panthers’ defense has finished in top 10 in NFL in four straight seasons. … Panthers led league in takeaways with 39 in 2015. Rookie CBs James Bradberry and Daryl Worley expected to start with All-Pro CB Josh Norman now in Washington. … DE Kony Ealy had three sacks and two forced turnovers in Super Bowl loss. … Broncos have won 15 of last 16 home openers. … Broncos have won five straight AFC West titles. … Coach Gary Kubiak is fourth coach to win Super Bowl in first season. … Denver has sold out 357 straight home games. … QB Trevor Siemian takes over for retired Peyton Manning. Siemian was seventh-round draft pick in 2015 and has never thrown pass in regular season. … WR Demaryius Thomas looks to become first player with at least 90 receptions and 1,300 yards in five straight seasons. … LB Von Miller had two strip-sacks in Super Bowl leading to 14 Denver points. Miller is third-fastest player to 50 career sacks … Broncos have replaced seven starters on offense and two on defense. … No cornerback has more INTs than Aqib Talib (30) since 2008. Fantasy Tip: Might want to sit Newton vs. Broncos. He had no TDs in Super Bowl and struggled vs. league’s best defense.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

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