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Super Bowl Losers


Carolina looks to become the first Super Bowl loser to qualify for the playoffs since the 2000 Tennessee Titans.

From the moment NFL players begin their off-season training, to the playoffs in January, over ten months of arduous work culminates into one sixty minute contest. Two teams battle through injury and adversity for an entire season, just to reach the Super Bowl. After the big game concludes, one team hoists the Lombardi Trophy and celebrates until training camp begins the following season. The other goes home disappointed, pondering if they could have done something different to prevent their defeat.

Carolina is an example of the latter. Although they weren't even projected to qualify for the playoffs, the Panthers finished the regular season with an 11-5 mark. In the postseason, they upset St. Louis and Philadelphia, before fighting valiantly against a superior New England Patriots team. Carolina came up three points shy in the Super Bowl and walked off the field bitterly disappointed, even though they went far beyond expectations in 2003.

Now a new challenge is in store for Carolina. They will attempt to become the first Super Bowl loser to qualify for the playoffs since the 2000 Tennessee Titans. Perhaps the good news for the Panthers is that the three Super Bowl losers that preceded them were anticipated to be title contenders.

The New York Giants, St. Louis Rams and Oakland Raiders, whom had once been in the same position that the Carolina Panthers now find themselves, concluded their following campaigns with respective records of 7-9, 7-9 and 4-12.

Like the Panthers, St. Louis came up three points short of the New England Patriots. They believed that their loss was a fluke, and Mike Martz, whose play-calling was suspect, was labeled as the scapegoat by his players and the national media. The Rams' renown arrogance led themselves to believe that they were still the elite team in the National Football League, resulting in an 0-5 start the following season.

Other teams like the Giants and Raiders have found the loss so depressing that they became unfocused during their off-season training. Oakland is a prominent example; their team that made the Super Bowl run was cluttered with veterans, most of whom were attempting to ride off into the sunset as champions. Unfortunately for the Silver and Black, Tampa Bay ruined the cinematic conclusion to their careers.

Whether it is caused by overconfidence or depression, a team that is unfocused generally will perform poorly the following year, due to the vast parity that plagues the league. Since almost every franchise is close as far as talent is concerned, off-season preparation that is ruined by a Super Bowl hangover usually proves to be fatal.

Meanwhile, Carolina has been conducting their offseason masterfully. Not only have they kept the majority of their roster intact, free agent linebackers Brandon Short and Jesse Armstead, cornerback Artrell Hawkins and offensive tackle Adam Meadows will all be welcome additions. However, all of these acquisitions won't matter if the incumbent Panthers aren't mentally focused this offseason.

If that's the case, the Panthers should start preparing for 2005.



2014: Live 2014 NFL Draft Blog - May 8
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2013: Live 2013 NFL Draft Blog - April 26
2013 NFL Week 1 Recap - Sept. 10
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2012: Live 2012 NFL Draft Blog - April 26
2012 NFL Week 1 Recap - Sept. 10
2012 NFL Week 2 Recap - Sept. 17
2012 NFL Week 3 Recap - Sept. 24
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2012 NFL Week 18 Recap - Jan. 7
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Super Bowl XLVII Recap - Feb. 4
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2011: Live 2011 NFL Draft Blog - April 28
2011 NFL Week 1 Recap - Sept. 12
2011 NFL Week 2 Recap - Sept. 19
2011 NFL Week 3 Recap - Sept. 26
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2011 NFL Week 6 Recap - Oct. 17
2011 NFL Week 7 Recap - Oct. 24
2011 NFL Week 8 Recap - Oct. 31
2011 NFL Week 9 Recap - Nov. 7
2011 NFL Week 10 Recap - Nov. 14
2011 NFL Week 11 Recap - Nov. 21
2011 NFL Week 12 Recap - Nov. 28
2011 NFL Week 13 Recap - Dec. 5
2011 NFL Week 14 Recap - Dec. 12
2011 NFL Week 15 Recap - Dec. 19
2011 NFL Week 16 Recap - Dec. 26
2011 NFL Week 17 Recap - Jan. 2
2011 NFL Week 18 Recap - Jan. 9
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2011 NFL Week 20 Recap - Jan. 23
Super Bowl XLVI Live Blog - Feb. 6


2010: Live 2010 NFL Draft Blog - April 22
2010 Hall of Fame Game Live Blog - Aug. 8
2010 NFL Kickoff Live Blog - Sept. 9
2010 NFL Week 1 Review - Sept. 13
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2010 NFL Week 3 Review - Sept. 27
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2010 NFL Week 6 Review - Oct. 18
2010 NFL Week 7 Review - Oct. 25
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2010 NFL Week 13 Review - Dec. 6
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2010 NFL Week 16 Review - Dec. 27
2010 NFL Week 17 Review - Jan. 3
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Super Bowl XLV Live Blog - Feb. 6


2009: Live 2009 NFL Draft Blog - April 25
2009 Hall of Fame Game Live Blog - Aug. 10
2009 NFL Kickoff Live Blog - Sept. 10
2009 NFL Week 1 Review - Sept. 14
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2009 NFL Week 4 Review - Oct. 5
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2009 NFL Week 6 Review - Oct. 19
2009 NFL Week 7 Review - Oct. 26
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2009 NFL Week 13 Review - Dec. 6
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2009 NFL Week 17 Review - Jan. 4
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2009 NFL Week 20 Review - Jan. 25
Super Bowl XLIV Live Blog - Feb. 7


2008: Live 2008 NFL Draft Blog - April 26
2008 NFL Kickoff Blog - Sept. 4
NFL Week 1 Review - Sept. 8
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NFL Wild Card Playoffs Review - Jan. 4
NFL Divisional Playoffs Review - Jan. 11
NFL Championship Sunday Review - Jan. 19
Super Bowl XLIII Live Blog


2007: NFL Draft: Day 1 Review Blog - April 28
Quarterback Rankings - June 25
NFL Kickoff Blog - Sept. 6
Chief Carl Has Lost a Step - Sept. 9
The NFL Cheated the Patriots - Sept. 16
NFL Week 3 Wrap-Up - Sept. 23
NFL Week 4 Wrap-Up - Sept. 30
NFL Week 5 Wrap-Up - Oct. 7
NFL Week 6 Wrap-Up - Oct. 14
NFL Week 7 Wrap-Up - Oct. 21
NFL Week 8 Wrap-Up - Oct. 28
NFL Week 9 Wrap-Up - Nov. 4
NFL Week 10 Wrap-Up - Nov. 11
NFL Week 11 Wrap-Up - Nov. 18
NFL Week 12 Wrap-Up - Nov. 25
NFL Week 13 Wrap-Up - Dec. 2
NFL Week 14 Wrap-Up - Dec. 9
NFL Week 15 Wrap-Up - Dec. 16
NFL Week 16 Wrap-Up - Dec. 23
NFL Week 17 Wrap-Up - Dec. 30
NFL Week 18 Wrap-Up - Jan. 6
NFL Week 19 Wrap-Up - Jan. 13
2008 Championship Sunday Diary - Jan. 20
Super Bowl XLII Live Blog - Feb. 3


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