Rapid Reaction: Panthers 35, Packers 31

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

The hype starts now. The game of the year, maybe the biggest game ever in the short history of the NFC South, will be played Dec. 8 at Bank of America Stadium.

If anyone doesn't already know the NFC South is the best-kept secret in football, they'll figure it out between now and that Monday Night Football game. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Carolina Panthers will play a game that could go a long way in deciding the NFC South title.

They're both 9-3 and they're both coming off impressive performances Sunday. After three games where they didn't look very good, the Panthers went into Lambeau Field and won. The Bucs found a way to slow down Drew Brees.

Part of the reason why the NFC South may be overlooked at times is because its top two teams, Carolina and Tampa Bay, don't have a lot of big names and neither team plays with a lot of flash.

But put those two teams under the Monday night lights with the division on the line and you can't ask for a better game.