There’s no doubt that there’s been plenty of surprises this season in the National Football League, but the shock of the league at this point has to be the play of the now 10-0 Carolina Panthers, who look like the favorites to be playing in Super Bowl 50 in San Francisco in a few months.
From possible league MVP in QB Cam Newton to a defense that is only going to get better with a healthy Charles Johnson, it’s hard to think that the Panthers are going to have a major slip up anytime soon.
Most sports betting handicapping sites have the Panthers as the favorites to represent the NFC in the big game in early February, and for good reason.
The team is going to have home field for the two possible playoff games, and it’s hard to think that any other NFC contender (Arizona, Seattle, Green Bay, anyone from the East) is going to able to dethrone this powerhouse.
Getting to 10-0 with a dominating win over the Redskins on Sunday, the Cats are the 16th team to get to double-digit wins without a defeat in the Super Bowl era. All of those teams have made the playoffs, and six of the 15 teams to start 10-0 won the Super Bowl.
Those teams to win the Super Bowl were the 1972 Dolphins, 1985 Bears, 1990 Giants, 1991 Redskins, 1998 Broncos and 2009 Saints. The odd fact was that the only team win the Super Bowl out of that group was the one that reached perfection – the 72 Dolphins, who are still waiting to pop the champagne on either the Patriots or Panthers to lose this season.
One other odd stat on the Panthers thus far is the fact they are the first team to ever start 10-0 after a losing season.
While the Cats won the NFC South last season going 7-8-1, they still had a losing record. They took last season’s playoff loss to the Seahawks and have learned from it, and have come out this season with a purpose.
The Panthers still have a long way to go. They will celebrate winning the NFC South soon, and from there the next step is clinching home field in the conference.
The skies the limit, but this team seems poised to make some serious noise in the postseason.
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