It may only be corollary, but Carolina generally makes the playoffs when they begin the season 2-0. Carolina has started 2-0 six times and they have made the playoffs five of those seasons. Both of Carolina’s trips to the Super Bowl were in seasons the team started 2-0. 2002 was the only season that Carolina didn’t make the playoffs after winning the first two weeks. After starting 3-0 in 2002, Carolina went on an eight-game losing streak to finish the season 7-9. While they haven’t been perfect when starting strong, Carolina hasn’t had much success when they haven’t started strong either. The Panthers have made the playoffs twice when losing one or both of their opening games. In 2005, Carolina started 1-1, made the playoffs as a Wild Card team, and ended up losing in the NFC Championship to the Seattle Seahawks. In 2013, Carolina stated 0-2 and got hot with a suffocating defense to finish the season 12-4, but lost in the Divisional Round to the San Francisco 49ers.
Tomorrow, Carolina has an opportunity to start the season 2-0 for the seventh time in team history. It would be nice to see them make the playoffs for the seventh time as well. I'm not trying to put the cart before the horse here, but can we say giddy-up!
2003 (Super Bowl Appearance)
2005* (Carolina started 1-1; Wild Card; NFC Championship appearance)
2013* (Carolina started 0-2)
2015 (Super Bowl Appearance)
By Tony Dunn
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