It was a fun and entertaining season for the Panthers, ultimately coming up short in the wildcard round in New Orleans.
The Panthers had a lot of inconsistency this past year in which games that they looked terrible offensively and couldn’t get anything going.
Then they had games in which they knew they had to show up and delivered. With their backs against the wall, they responded several times this season.
The Panthers had the seventh toughest strength of schedule according to Football Outsiders. They played both of the Super Bowl participants and faced 5 of the 6 NFC playoff teams.
Here are the Panthers top 5 games of 2017:
5. Week 9, Panthers 20-Falcons 17
Yes it was a close game, but the Panthers ran all over the Falcons and Christian McCaffrey had his first breakout game. The Panthers erased an early 10 point deficit. Jonathan Stewart had two early fumbles in Falcons territory and McCaffrey was given more carries.
The Panthers rushed for 201 yards in the game. McCaffrey had 66 yards on 15 carries for a 4.4 average and a touchdown. He also caught two balls for 28 yards. Cam had 86 yards on the ground with a touchdown.
4. Week 10, Panthers 45-Dolphins 21
Another huge game on the ground for the Panthers, rushing for 295 yards on primetime Monday night against Miami. The Panthers racked up 548 yards on offense.
Jonathan Stewart had 110 yards on 10 carries and Cam Newton had 95 yards on 5 carries for a 19.0 average. McCaffrey and Artis-Payne each had a touchdown.
Devin Funchess had 92 yards receiving with 2 touchdowns. McCaffrey also had a receiving touchdown.
Luke Kuechly had an interception on Jay Cutler right before halftime that helped the blowout pour on.
3. Week 15, Panthers 31-Packers 24
It was Aaron Rodgers’ first game back from a collarbone injury. The Panthers knew he was most likely going to play so they prepared for him in their game-planning all week.
The Panthers sacked Rodgers 3 times and harassed him all game. It was the most hits Rodgers took in a game since at the Panthers in 2015.
Cam had 4 passing touchdowns with Damiere Byrd catching 2 of them and McCaffrey and Olsen having one each. The Panthers also rushed for 151 yards.
2. Week 14, Panthers 31-Vikings 24
The Panthers faced a physical Vikings team which the game consisted of two of the more physical teams in the league. The Panthers rushed for 216 yards against Minnesota’s #2 rush defense.
Stewart had 103 rushing yards with 3 touchdowns. Cam also had 70 yards with his important long scamper in the 4th quarter of 62 yards to help the Panthers eventually win the game. Cam only threw for 129 yards and a lone touchdown pass to Devin Funchess.
Defensively, the Panthers sacked Case Keenum 6 times and picked him off twice. Kawaan Short had 2 of those 6 sacks. Luke Kuechly had 14 tackles.
1.Week 4, Panthers 33-Patriots 30
The Panthers came off a terrible offensive performance against the Saints the previous week. Their backs were against the wall and they knew desperately they had to put points on the board to keep up with Tom Brady.
They did just that. Cam Newton threw for 316 yards and 3 touchdowns and ran for another. Kelvin Benjamin had 104 yards receiving. Funchess had 2 receiving touchdowns and Fozzy Whittaker had a long screen pass he took for a touchdown that was designed tremendously by Mike Shula.
The Panthers sacked Tom Brady 3 times with Julius Peppers having 2 of them. Luke Kuechly was all over like usual gathering 14 tackles.
The Panthers defense held Brady to 16 points though 3 quarters. The Panthers held a 30-16 lead into the 4th quarter when Brady led the Patriots back to tie the game at 30 deep in the 4th quarter. Cam then led the Panthers down to attempt the game winning field goal with 3 seconds left. Graham Gano nailed the 48-yard field goal to earn a thrilling win in New England against the Patriots.