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Sunday's game against 49ers will provide a measuring stick for improving Panthers

  • 309a79ed129f1525420f6a7067009a67.jpg

    Carolina Panthers' Jonathan Stewart (28) runs past Atlanta Falcons' Paul Worrilow (55) in the second half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone) (The Associated Press)

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    Carolina Panthers' Mike Tolbert (35) runs past Atlanta Falcons' Jonathan Massaquoi (96) in the second half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013. The Panthers won 34-10. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone) (The Associated Press)

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    Carolina Panthers' Mike Tolbert (35) is tackled by Atlanta Falcons' Thomas DeCoud (28) in the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn) (The Associated Press)

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    Carolina Panthers' Jonathan Stewart (28) runs against the Atlanta Falcons in the second half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn) (The Associated Press)

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    Carolina Panthers' Greg Olsen (88) runs after a catch as Atlanta Falcons' Desmond Trufant (21) defends in the second half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn) (The Associated Press)

Jordan Gross says the next two weeks will go a long way toward determining how people around the country perceive the Carolina Panthers.

The Panthers' starting left tackle and co-captain said Carolina has a chance to earn some respect if they can beat San Francisco on the road Sunday and follow that up with a victory next Monday night at home against New England.

The Panthers (5-3) have won four straight games.

However, some question the team since Carolina's five wins have come against teams with a combined 8-33 record.

Gross is excited about the challenge ahead, saying "if we win these games everybody is going to say we're good. And if we lose these games everybody is going to say that we beat teams that weren't good."

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AP NFL website www.pro32.ap.org