NFC South: Top 10 teams in division history
3) Carolina Panthers 2003
Jan 3, 2015; Charlotte, NC, USA; A view of the NFL Wild Card logo on the field before the 2014 NFC Wild Card playoff football game between the Carolina Panthers and the Arizona Cardinals at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
The NFC South division formed in 2002 and sent a team to the Super Bowl in each of the first two years. In 2003 the Carolina Panthers won the division with an 11-5 record and made it all the way to Super Bowl XXXVIII. Carolina secured the number three seed in the NFC and defeated the Dallas Cowboys in the wild card round, 29-10.
In the second round, the Panthers fought tooth and nail with the St. Louis Rams and knocked them off in double overtime, 29-23 after a 69-yard walk off touchdown from wide receiver Steve Smith. The Panthers were now just one game away from a Super Bowl appearance, but would have to get past the Philadelphia Eagles who were making their third consecutive NFC title game appearance.
The game would be dominated by the Panthers’ defense as Ricky Manning picked off Donovan McNabb three times en route to a 14-3 victory. Unfortunately, the Panthers fell short to the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl, 32-29 after a failed fourth quarter comeback attempt. To date, this is the deepest playoff run the Panthers have ever had.