Considering the Aspects of Betting Carolina in the Super Bowl
If the Carolina Panthers make it to Super Bowl 50, it will be their second time to square off for the Lombardi Trophy. They took on the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXVIII at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas, on February 1, 2004. At the time, the 144.4 million viewers who tuned into this game made it the most watched Super Bowl in history.
The Panthers were in their first Super Bowl and had rolled to an 11-5 record in the regular season. New England had dominated the regular season, finishing 14-2, and were after their second world championship in three seasons. While the Patriots would prevail, 32-29, this was one of the most thrilling Super Bowls of all time. According to Peter King with Sports Illustrated, it was the “Greatest Super Bowl of all time” after it was over.
— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) January 21, 2016
Interestingly, the game began with no one scoring for the first 26:55 of the game, a Super Bowl record for the longest time it took either team to put a point on the board. Then, in the last 3:05 of the second quarter, the teams combined for 24 points before the intermission. Then, neither team could score in the third quarter — and then they set a Super Bowl record by combining for 37 points in the fourth quarter. Fittingly, the game came down to a last-second field goal, as Patriots kicker Adam Vinatieri converted the winning kick with just four seconds left on the clock.
The MVP of Super Bowl XXXVIII was Tom Brady, who took home the trophy for the second time in three seasons. He completed 32 passes (then a Super Bowl record) and completed 66.7 percent of his attempts, rolling up 354 passing yards and three touchdowns. His counterpart, Jake Delhomme, also had a big day statistically, piling up 323 passing yards and three scores.
One thing that was remarkable about the Panthers’ journey to this Super Bowl was that, just two years earlier, they had gone just 1-15 in George Seifert’s final season as a head coach in the league. That year, the Panthers beat Minnesota in Week 1 but would not win another game. Between 1997 and 2002, the Panthers did not have a winning record, but then the 2003 season saw the team, coached by John Fox, win the NFC South and make it all the way to the Super Bowl.
When the 2003 season began, Delhomme was the Panthers’ backup quarterback behind Rodney Peete. However, Week 1 saw them fall behind the Jacksonville Jaguars, 17-0, having gained only 36 yards by the third quarter. Delhomme came on to lead the team to a 24-23 comeback win, and the rest was history. The real strength for the Panther “O” that year was their rushing attack led by DeShaun Foster (429 yards) and Stephen Davis (1,444 yards and 8 scores). Rod Smart and Steve Smith terrified opposing teams’ special teams units, hauling back punts and kickoffs for touchdowns.
The Panthers’ defensive line was also a sight to see, anchored by Mike Rucker (12 sacks, 1 interception) and Julius Peppers (7 sacks, 3 fumbles forced), with Pro Bowler Kris Jenkins (5 sacks, 1 fumble recovery) in the interior.
So as exciting as this season has been for the Panther faithful to watch, it will be interesting to see if Carolina can represent as well in the NFC Championship and Super Bowl 50 as they did a dozen years ago.