At what moment in the season did you first say, "This Panthers team has what it takes to go to the Super Bowl"?
I recently asked this question on Twitter and received plenty of interesting responses, some of which are listed below.
I also answered my question at the bottom of the page. Take a look:
@PanthersMax honestly it was the way they responded against Tampa after they lost to Atlanta— Dallas Peyton (@Dallaswpeyton18) January 26, 2016
@PanthersMax when we beat DAL. Winning on SNF, MNF, & Thanksgiving said this is not the same old team that breaks down in the bright lights.— Jenny (@ncsujen) January 27, 2016
@PanthersMax Probably when we beat Seattle. I felt like that win made the team say "this year is different and we can overcome anything"— Chris (@bestsportnascar) January 27, 2016
@PanthersMax when we lost to Seattle in the playoffs last year and the look on Cam's face said: "We'll be back."— Carolina Panthers (@SidelinedMike) January 26, 2016
@PanthersMax told a buddy during preseason I had a feeling. But that Seattle game, the game winning drive told me everything.— Maggie McGann (@xMystix) January 26, 2016
@PanthersMax after they beat the Packers. That 4 game stretch was hard. We beat the Seahawks, Eagles, Colts, and GB.— Brandon ® (@BLcity5) January 26, 2016
@PanthersMax after Odell's TD. the camera turned to cam and he shook his head like "I got this". Drove down, FG, Win! Superbowl— L Malloy (@lmoney214) January 26, 2016
@PanthersMax When I saw the stone-cold look on Cam's face after the Giants tied the game...no doubt he'd lead us back and go all the way.— Jamie Powell (@JPow87) January 26, 2016
@PanthersMax The four game stretch of Seahawks, Colts, Packers, Eagles. Realized it was special then.— Ike Parsons (@YouCanCallMeIke) January 26, 2016
@PanthersMax to me when we came back from 14-0 in the dome to beat the saints proved to me that we could go anywhere and win— therealgaddyru (@therealgaddyru) January 27, 2016
@PanthersMax when we got out to that big lead vs. the Packers, I turned to my wife and said "we are good." That's when I knew we could do it— JoshForte (@JoshForte) January 27, 2016
My (extended) take: Hard to argue with Week 6 at Seattle. That win over a nemesis let the Panthers know they could beat anyone anywhere. Defeating the Packers in Week 9 to improve to 8-0 was something no one thought Carolina could do when the schedule was released. At that point, it was clear something extraordinary was happening.
The Thanksgiving victory in Dallas sticks out, too. The Cowboys, actually favored at one point during the week, were playing to keep their season alive. There was a huge national audience, and it was all happening in a surreal stadium that makes everything feel larger than life. The Panthers dominated right from the start. It was clear they were on a mission.
Shout-out to that win over Tampa Bay in the regular season finale as well. Carolina proved there was no reason to panic following its only loss and that they were ready for a special postseason run.