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Carolina Panthers make NFL history, send two teams to playoffs

The Carolina Panthers became the first franchise in NFL history to send two different teams to the playoffs in the same year.

Buffalo Bills vs. Carolina Panthers
“All around me are familiar faces....”
David T. Foster III/Charlotte Observer/TNS via Getty Images

By now many of you are aware that the Carolina Panthers will be heading to New Orleans to take on Alvin Kamara this Sunday. What you may not realize is the fact that the Panthers have made NFL history this season.

The Carolina Panthers organization has sent two representatives to the playoffs this season, a Panthers South team and a Panthers North team. Both teams understandably limped into the post season. After all, stretching one team’s players over two full rosters will lead to a lack of depth at certain positions.

The Panthers South team gave the Panthers North their future general manager, their defensive coordinator, their de facto number one receiver, their fullback/runningback hybrid, their second best quarterback who is also a wide receiver and special teams player, their up-and-coming safety, and their return specialist (who Panthers North was nice enough to return halfway through the season).

Let’s take a look at the two Panthers franchises and what their futures could hold.

Wine and Cheese

The original Carolina Panthers franchise, and the Panthers South representative, the (North) Carolina Panthers will look to make some waves in the NFC playoff picture. The first test will be taking on professional NyQuil spokeman Drew Brees this Sunday.

The Panthers South have an underappreciated dual-threat quarterback, a strong running game (if their starter plays), a frustratingly inconsistent offensive line, very little depth and skill at wide receiver, a good (but injured for large parts of this season) tight end, a running back who led the team in receptions, and a defense coached by a Panthers Defensive Coordinator.

Beer and Wings

The newest addition to the Carolina Panthers franchise, and the Panthers North representative, the Buffalo Bills will look to make some waves in the AFC playoff picture. The first test will be taking on a quarterback that is apparently better than Cam Newton in Blake Bortles this Sunday.

The Panthers North have an underappreciated dual-threat quarterback, a strong running game (if their starter plays), a frustratingly inconsistent offensive line, very little depth and skill at wide receiver, a good (but injured for large parts of this season) tight end, a running back who led the team in receptions, and a defense coached by a Panthers Defensive Coordinator.

What the future holds

It is a miracle that these two teams made the playoffs this season. The fact that each team was essentially playing with half a viable roster makes the feat an historic achievement. The drawback of having two teams share players is that the depth of those teams will be razor thin. This has bitten both teams extremely hard, especially at wide receiver. Yet despite this disadvantage, the Pantherses were both able to overcome adversity and make it to the dance. We are just six upsets away from the Panthers playing with themselves on the biggest stage in football. I, for one, can’t wait to witness that. And if when they play this Panthers civil war game, Kelvin Benjamin will be guaranteed the Super Bowl ring that he deserves.