The scenario is simple: if the Panthers win in New Orleans or the Atlanta Falcons somehow lose to the St. Louis Rams than Carolina wins the NFC South and gets a first round bye.
But how important is that?
The past three teams to win the Super Bowl didn't have a bye. The 2005 Pittsburgh Steelers and 2007 New York Giants won three road playoff games and the Super Bowl. The 2006 Indianapolis Colts had to get through three playoff games before beating the Bears in the Super Bowl.
Since 2000, only four Super Bowl Champions have gotten a first round bye. Three of those teams were the No. 2 seed in their conference (a Panthers NFC South title gives them the No. 2 seed). Only the 2003 New England Patriots have won a Super Bowl as a No. 1 seed this decade.
Carolina's only Super Bowl appearance came after not getting a bye.
How Important Is It For the Carolina Panthers to Get That First Round Bye? originally appeared on NFL FanHouse on Sun, 28 Dec 2008 10:30:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.