But that said, did beating the two-time NFC champion Seattle Seahawks, winners of the Super Bowl two seasons ago, make Sunday’s 31-24 triumph a little more special?
It depends who you ask; depends what they’re willing to share.
But several Panthers couldn’t deny it.
"I would be lying to you if I said that it didn’t feel good to go out and beat Seattle," linebacker
In head coach Ron Rivera’s tenure, the Panthers have played the Seahawks in the regular season four times. Carolina’s only win came at Seattle in Week 6 of this season. Each of those three losses was by no more than five points.
Last year, Seattle ended Carolina’s season in the NFC Divisional round with a 31-17 victory.
This year, the roles revered.
"We have a ton of respect for them," tight end
Those hard-fought battles created a strong mutual respect between these two teams. Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett once famously called the Panthers "an attractive cousin" because of how similar the two teams are in their philosophy and approach.
"That’s exactly what it was like," Cotchery said. "I think they knew what type of team we were and they respected that just like we respect them. You could feel that mutual respect, especially after the game. Some of their guys were like, ‘Hey, ‘Go and win it.’"
Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson shared that sentiment with several Panthers, most notably his quarterback counterpart
Want to be the last team standing? Beat a team that knows how to get there.
"We wanted that missed field goal in Minnesota last week," safety
Does beating the Seahawks make a statement to the outside world? The Panthers aren’t so much interested in that.
Their only concern is finishing the job after taking a monumental step.
"We’re not trying to make statements. We know we have a great team," Cotchery said. "We try to approach it the right way and see how that plays out."