After a rough start to the season the Panthers have now won 5 games in a row to take sole ownership of first place in the NFC South. While we at the Observer would have usually had a similar article after the first quarter of the season was up we were swamped with what will be known as the infamous government shutdown of 2013 and were unable to allocate a proper team to write an article at that time; therefore, this will be an extra beefy half way point article. Let's start with a brief summary of the eight games the Panthers have played so far. Week 1: Seahawks @ Panthers - This game was close the whole way, but a crucial drop by free agent acquisition Ted Ginn Jr. that would have potentially been a game winning touchdown was the end of this close matchup as the Seahawks bested the Panthers 27 - 24 in Charlotte. Week 2: Panthers @ Bills - The Panthers knew that starting 0-2 was unacceptable under the new ownership of David Rector and came out with a purpose in Buffalo. The game was close, but the Panthers were able to pull out a win 24 - 17. Week 3: Giants @ Panthers - The Panthers came into Week 3 seemingly completely unprepared for the NY Football Giants. With 5 interceptions on the day Cam Newton had by far the worst game of his NFL career as the Giants demolished the Panthers 55 - 17. Week 4: Bye - The bye could not have come at a better time for the Panthers as they were able to refocus and leave the Giants debacle behind them. Week 5: Panthers @ Cardinals - Cam Newton played a flawless game as the Panthers beat the Cardinals 36 - 24 to improve to 2-2 on the season. Week 6: Panthers @ Vikings - The Panthers defense came into this game with one goal. To limit All Day Adrian Peterson to under 100 yards rushing, and they did just that which allowed the Panthers to win the game 38 - 27. Week 7: Rams @ Panthers - The Rams came into Charlotte with a good record and the Panthers took advantage of a lot of dropped passes by the Rams wide receivers and won this game handily 42 - 10. Week 8: Panthers @ Bu opponent of the year in Tampa and came away with a victory on Thursday Night 28 - 17. It is worth noting that the Panthers were the last team to play a division opponent this season. (To see a thorough summary of this game see our post from 2 weeks ago) Week 9: Falcons @ Panthers - In shootout fashion the Panthers took care of business against the Falcons 31 - 28. (To see a thorough summary of this game see our post from yesterday) At this midway point of the season it is time to announce the Observer's Midseason Awards: Offensive MVP: DeAngelo Williams - At the old age of 30 Williams has shown he still has what it takes to be an elite NFL running back. With a monster performance against the Falcons we couldn't imagine giving this award to anyone else. Defensive MVP: Charles Johnson - He has been a forced to be reckoned with on the D-Line and has put massive amounts of pressure on the QB all season long. Most Improved Player - Ted Ginn Jr. - After making a crucial drop in Week 1 Ginn made it his focus to work on catching the ball better. He has done just that having a few nice games now and has become a solid slot receiver in the Panthers offense. Before we wrap this article up we need to talk about new owner David Rector and what he has done so far for this franchise. He has already begun work improving the quality of Bank of America Stadium with a couple of renovations. One earlier in the season to the Team Store that I personally think is a huge step up from what the old team store was quality wise and very recently he renovated the seating in the stadium that hadn't been touched in years. He has already said that he plans on next renovating the Concession Stands and hopes that Bank of America Stadium can become known as one of the more highly rated stadiums in the NFL. Asked if there were any plays to rebuild the stadium or even move the team, and Rector immediately guaranteed that as long as he is the owner of the Carolina Panthers the team will be in the Charlotte and for right now the team is happy with Bank of America stadium, but might possibly look into building a new stadium in the future. The Panthers have the undefeated New England Patriots in Charlotte on Monday Night this coming week. This is the first Monday Night Game in Charlotte since the Buccaneers game in 2008 in which Jonathan Stewart had one of the greatest stiff arms I've ever seen on Ronde Barber. This will be a huge test for the Panthers as the Patriots have been playing lights out. Look for another article in 4 weeks where we can hopefully start talking about the Playoffs and we will recap games 9 - 12. Until then, Go Panthers!