NFL rules dictate that somebody had to win the NFC South.  The Carolina Panthers did just that, making the playoffs with a losing record at 7-8-1 thanks to a final week beatdown of the Falcons 34-3 in Atlanta.  The Panthers’ victory in the winner-take-all game ended up being the last for Falcons coach Mike Smith.

The Panthers were an afterthought for much of the season in the beleaguered division with most pundits thinking the New Orleans Saints were in the driver’s seat.  The Saints were a preseason Super Bowl contender and had the most talent in the division.  However, a maddeningly inconsistent campaign saw them finish at 7-9, eliminated after an inconceivable 5 game home losing streak.

ESPN’s Trent Dilfer was one of those pundits believing in the Saints, tweeting as such back in November.  At the time, Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams had a message for the analyst.  On Sunday, Williams reminded Dilfer that he didn’t forget about it either…

It’s always interesting to see players draw motivation from the opinions of analysts and former players who are paid to give opinions.  Let’s not forget that the Panthers went 63 days between victories at one point this season, so one would be justified in not giving them much of a chance.  They will go down as one of the more unlikely division champs in NFL history.

Now one has to wonder where the Panthers will draw their motivation from as the playoffs begin – they’re actually a favorite in their Wild Card playoff game against Ryan Lindley and the Cardinals.

About Matt Yoder

Award winning sportswriter at The Comeback and Awful Announcing. The biggest cat in the whole wide world.

Comments are closed.