Nothing kills a good buzz like the Panthers losing a big game. It’s the kind of game that is so deflating you go home afterward and eat dinner with your wife instead of hitting the bar with the guys. It makes the work week ahead look tired and gray. You don’t even watch SportsCenter that night.
The Panthers haven’t had the bad luck of the Vikings or Bills, but we’ve had our fair share of suck. In the name of offseason filler, I give you the five games that ripped your heart out.
1) Arizona Cardinals loss in the 2008-2009 playoffs
The Panthers hosted the Cards in the second round of the playoffs. Coming off a 12-4 regular season, they were poised to destroy Kurt Warner and the Cardinals. Instead, Warner picked apart the defense and Jake Delhomme played one of the worst games of his career. Not only were the Panthers thumped from the playoffs, but it signaled the eventual demise of Delhomme as a Panther.
2) John Kasay’s kick out of bounds in Super Bowl XXXVIII
We all know what Kasay did, so we really don’t need to repeat it. Suffice to say after a miraculous comeback in the second half, our Super Bowl dream season died when Tom Brady was handed the ball at the 40 yard line with one minute left. In the previous win against Philly, Panther fans were dancing in the streets. The Super Bowl left Panther fans stupefied and Kasay would never recover from that kick. (Kidding.)
3) Green Bay kicks the [snot] out of us 2004
The Super Bowl was a bitter defeat, but the Panthers still had a lot of their same players heading into the next season. That is until they started dropping like flies. It was almost fitting that the first game of the season--Monday Night Football against the Packers--the Panthers get destroyed on national TV and Steve Smith breaks his leg. The Panthers would begin the season 1-7.
4) Seattle pounds the Panthers to end the 2006 season
The Panthers were playing inspired football when they headed to Seattle for the NFC Championship game in 2006. However, DeSean Foster’s broken ankle against the Bears in the playoffs the previous week didn’t bode well. The Panthers were forced to play Nick Goings at RB. He was promptly battered around like a rag doll by the Seattle defense and eventually knocked out of the game. With no running back, the team lost its mojo and missed out on its second trip to the Super Bowl.
5) Green Bay brings second season down to reality
It was the good old "can do spirit" of the Queen City that perhaps propelled a group of mostly cast-offs from other teams into the NFC Championship game in 1997 at Green Bay. The Packers demoralized the Panthers fast and fans got their first taste of real heartbreak. Just making the Championship game was a nice consolation, but it would take more than a half-decade until the Panthers would again make the playoffs.