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How Cam’s Panthers went up in smoke

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From 15 wins and a Super Bowl appearance to the bottom of the NFC South in a hurry

We didn’t deserve the 2015 Carolina Panthers. At the time they were labeled the league’s worst 15-win team ever. Some people argued that Cam Newton’s wildly impressive season somehow made him the least impressive MVP in NFL history (here is where I remind you that in 1982 a kicker won it ...). A mother literally wrote a letter asking Cam to have less fun so she didn’t have to explain “dancing” or the concept of “joy” to her child.

Newton’s detractors received their reward when the Panthers lost Super Bowl 50 against the Broncos. More specifically, when Newton didn’t throw himself after a bouncing ball . The years that followed solidified the too-widespread belief that Cam was overrated. But that needs to stop.

The 2015 Panthers were great. Newton was amazing. And they were fun as hell. A lot of things had to fall perfectly in place for them to have the season that they had, but that’s how football works. And until the closing seconds of the championship game, it had worked really well. They had the NFL’s best offense despite going without Kelvin Benjamin all year. The offense clicking helped out a defense that had already found greatness. Sure, sometimes that greatness made their games boring, like when they annihilated Arizona in the NFC Championship game. Great teams can’t help but play a boring blowout or two.

But now that the team is no more, the key pieces having moved on either by their own doing through organizational misadventure, the time for debate is over. Let’s just try and enjoy what we all should have from the start. I mean, if for no other reason we ought to appreciate the fact that the 2015 Panthers gifted us the Josh Norman versus Odell Beckham Jr. beef.

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