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Carolina Panthers

Five notable records from 2016

Although the most important record of all – the Panthers' win-loss record – did not result in Carolina's favor this past season, many players forged or further cemented themselves into the NFL and franchise history books.

Here are five notable statistical achievements from 2016:

1. One of the most notable accomplishments of the entire NFL season belongs to tight end Greg Olsen, who became the first tight end to ever post three consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons. Over those three Pro Bowl-earning seasons, Olsen has accumulated 3,185 yards and 16 touchdowns. Olsen is also the first at his position since Dallas' Jason Witten from 2007-13 to register five consecutive 800-yard receiving seasons.

2. Someone has to throw those passes to Olsen. That's where quarterback Cam Newton comes in. In six NFL seasons, Newton has accumulated 1,710 completions, 21,772 passing yards and 136 passing touchdowns. Each of those marks are a franchise record, and Newton surpassed Jake Delhomme for each of the marks in 2016.

3. Of course, passing is only half of the Newton's arsenal. With a 2-yard rush in the second quarter of the season opener at the Broncos, Newton scored the 44th rushing touchdown of his career to surpass Steve Young's NFL-record total achieved in 15 seasons. In 93 games played, Newton has rushed into the end zone 48 times, exceeding running back DeAngelo Williams' previous franchise record of 46 rushing touchdowns. It's the powerful running aspect of Newton's game that makes him so dynamic and dangerous, and he's earned another league mark because of it: His 32 career games with both a passing and rushing touchdown are most in league history.

4. Far from playing second fiddle, Carolina is also home to its share of defensive stars, most notably the linebacking duo of Thomas Davis and Luke Kuechly. Both now earning back-to-back Pro Bowl nominations (Kuechly has earned four straight), they've earned a reputation for being ball hawks at their position, with Kuechly snagging a league-leading 12 interceptions since entering the league in 2012, followed by Davis' second-best 10 picks in that time. Kuechly, with his 693 tackles (based on press box stats), has registered the most tackles in the NFL since 2012.

5. Youth was served on defense as well, with cornerbacks James Bradberry and Daryl Worley combining to start 24 games and the Panthers getting a 25th start from Zack Sanchez to break the franchise record for starts by rookie cornerbacks in a season. Defensive tackle Vernon Butler, the team's first-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, didn't start a game, but he did start and finish the season strong between some injury concerns. In addition to notching a sack at Denver in his NFL debut, Butler was a special teams standout. He is only the second Panther to ever block more than one field goal in a season, also accomplished by Julius Peppers in 2006 and 2007.


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