Following the New England Patriots loss against the Denver Broncos, the Carolina Panthers are the last remaining undefeated team in the NFL. The team had a solid season in 2014 with a 12-4 record but this year the Panthers are experiencing their best season in franchise history. With its Thanksgiving stomping of the Dallas Cowboys, the Carolina Panthers have joined the elite club of a dozen teams in the history of the NFL that have started a season with a record of 11-0.
Despite releasing Pro Bowl defender Greg Hardy (for good reason), the Panthers have been unfazed. The team boasts one of the strongest defenses in the NFL this season with quality play coming from the likes of star Pro Bowl linebacker Luke Kuechly and cornerback Josh Norman. Now Sports Illustrated reports that the team has signed an additional cornerback in veteran Cortland Finnegan. He is best known for his fiery temper and had been punished multiple times for unnecessary roughness prior to retiring from the Miami Dolphins in March 2015. He will act as a replacement for Panthers cornerback Charles Tillman, who has been sidelined for the last two games as a result of a knee injury and is expected to take several more weeks to return to action.
The surprise success of the Carolina Panthers has also given the team it’s best shot at winning the Super Bowl since its only appearance in the big game back during the 2003 season. Those looking to make sense of this year’s absolutely insane NFL season can find some tips on Betfair Betting concerning the team’s potential for a championship. So far, the site has the team currently listed as the second favourites to win the Super Bowl, hot on the heels of the reigning champs, the New England Patriots. Given the current performance of both teams, it wouldn’t be unrealistic to see a rematch of Super Bowl XXXVIII this year.
The fact that Carolina is even in the discussion for the Super Bowl and that Cam Newton is being considered an MVP candidate has taken many by surprise. That’s especially true when you consider that despite the team’s unbeaten streak, the Panthers are statistically the worst team to ever achieve an 11-0 record. While the 2014 season wasn’t a bad year for the Panthers by any means, few fans expected the team to perform at the level they have, much less remain undefeated this late into the season.
The team has had a noticeably easy schedule and the only particularly tough games have been against the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers. Add in the relatively weak competition coming from the NFC South, and you’ve pretty much got a guaranteed playoff spot for the Panthers. In fact, the only way that Carolina doesn’t win the NFC South outright would be if they proceeded to lose their next five games in a row. Even then, the worst that could happen could be a tie for first with the Atlanta Falcons.
Author bio: This is a guest post by Brian Evans. He’s an online freelance writer who can’t get enough of the NFL this year and hopes to see Carolina vs. New England in the Super Bowl