|Cam Newton (1) congratulates Peyton Manning (18) on the
Denver Broncos’ Super Bowl 50 win. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI
What a great season for the Carolina Panthers. Historically great, in fact.
The Charlotte-based NFC South Champions finished the NFL’s 2015 season with the league’s best regular season record, 15-1.
Carolina became the sixth team to complete a 15-1 regular season. Only the 2007 New England Patriots won sixteen regular season games in one season.
The Panthers finished the NFL Playoffs with two more wins on the season at 17-2 than their closest challenger, the 15-4 Super Bowl Champion, Denver Broncos.
Their seventeen combined regular season and Playoffs wins ties them with the 1972 Miami Dolphins (17-0) for the fourth most wins in a single season.
Unfortunately, Carolina came up short in its quest for the Super Bowl 50 title, losing 24-10 to the Broncos in the franchise’s second ever Super Bowl appearance.
If the Black & Blue are anything like the Orange Crush, they should earn an opportunity to vindicate their Super Bowl loss in short order.
Stronger Fan Base
|Lucky recipients of a Carolina Panthers touchdown football.
Photo via MMQB.SI.com
The Panthers ignited a spark among the local fan base and in the City of Charlotte this season which will last long beyond the playing days of Cam Newton, Luke Kuechly, and Thomas Davis.
The Carolinas’ team earned a national following in 2015, spending as much time in the sports headlines for their dabbing and dancing as for their winning ways.
Panthers players also captured the attention and the hearts of countless fans throughout North and South Carolina, across the nation, and around the world with their big personalities and the famed “Sunday Giveaway,” a tradition in which at least 53 young Panthers fans received a football from Newton or one of his teammates after scoring a touchdown.
In many ways, the Panthers are the new face of American sports, with a Hispanic head coach, a young African-American quarterback, and a curly-headed middle linebacker with a female following to rival Derek Jeter’s in his prime.
This team is comprised of a diverse group of men who came together for a common cause.
The 2015 season may be over, but preparations for 2016 will likely begin in a matter of days, if they haven’t already.
There are important free agents like Josh Norman to ink to long-term deals as soon as possible.
There is the NFL Scouting Combine in February and college “Pro Days” to attend and evaluate prospects in the next couple of months.
Finally, Carolina will attempt to fill some of its biggest needs in the 2016 NFL Draft at the end of April.
Carolina may have come up short on the biggest stage, but there is plenty of room to grow and plenty of reason for optimism for Panthers fans, players, and coaches.
I expect the Panthers to “Keep Pounding” in 2016, all the way to a Super Bowl victory.
After all, Super Bowl LI (51) is the “Keep Pounding” Super Bowl.
Sam Mills must have worn No. 51 for a reason.
His hobbies include fishing, playing golf, watching football, and exploring the Carolinas.
Jimmy is a licensed Realtor® with Allen Tate Company in North Carolina and South Carolina.
He is a member of a nationwide and international referral network of the world’s best real estate agents, “Leading Real Estate Companies of the World.”
He is passionate about “Making Home Happen!”