Welcome back to our Carolina Panthers Best Moments series, our ranking of the Panthers top-25 moments to celebrate the team’s 25th season as a member of the National Football League.
In case you missed yesterday’s entry, which talked about when the man, the myth and the legend Luke Kuechly was drafted, go back and give it a read.
In today’s entry, we are looking back at one of the most dominant performances in team history: when the Panthers routed the Arizona Cardinals, 49-15, in the NFC Championship game to advance to Super Bowl L.
Panthers ease past Cards for second Super Bowl appearance
The 2015 season went down as the best in franchise history for the Carolina Panthers, and it all culminated with the dominant 49-15 victory over the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC Championship game to advance to Super Bowl L, the second Super Bowl appearance in team history.
Given the team’s lack of offensive weapons outside of Cam Newton and Greg Olsen, there were a lot of doubters regarding Carolina’s 15-1 regular season and whether they’d be able to compete with the best teams in the league. After coming in danger of blowing a 31-0 halftime lead over the Seattle Seahawks in the Divisional Round, the Panthers had none of these issues against the Cardinals, taking a 17-0 lead in the first quarter and never looking back as they easily handled the 13-3 team that was the second-best in the conference.
A complete performance on both sides of the ball
In addition to securing just the second Super Bowl appearance in franchise history, Carolina also put together what was perhaps its most complete performance of the historic season that was filled with dominant outings by the team. Offensively, Newton threw for 335 yards and two touchdowns while adding 47 rushing yards and two more touchdowns, with Corey “Philly” Brown and Olsen leading the team with 113 receiving yards each and Jonathan Stewart adding 83 yards on the ground.
Defensively, Carolina had an astounding SEVEN takeaways in the championship game — four interceptions and three fumble recoveries, with Kurt Coleman snatching two interceptions while Luke Kuechly and Tre Boston each had an interception and a fumble recovery as Charles Johnson and Kawann Short each forced one fumble each.
This was a game that was simply filled with highlights for the Panthers, something that was absolute eye candy for fans as the team advanced to the big game with this performance. While Carolina ultimately fell short in the Super Bowl as it faced its kryptonite in the Denver Broncos, this was still one of the most memorable games in Panthers’ history.