Let’s take a moment and think about what was going on back in August of last year.
Donald Trump began what proved to be a surprisingly worthwhile campaign during the first Republican Presidential Debate, Porzingis Mania was a pipe dream, and the Carolina Panthers were basically a lock for a top-five pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.
Do you remember all that?
Considering how dominant the now 17-1 Panthers have been this season, it’s crazy to think that Carolina was left for dead before the regular season even kicked off, but that was exactly the case when star wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin went down with a torn ACL.
To be honest, I don’t blame experts and fans alike for finding their shovels and burying the Panthers right then and there, especially when you consider what Carolina was rolling with as a wide receiving corps.
- Jerricho Cotchery – a solid Jets and Steelers castaway on the downside of his career
- Ted Ginn Jr. – a top-ten pick draft bust that was released by the Arizona Cardinals
- Devin Funchess – an unproven rookie that was seen as a broke man’s version of Kelvin Benjamin
- Corey “Philly” Brown – did anyone know who this guy was outside of the Ohio State and Carolina fanbases?
You couple how pathetic Carolina’s passing attack looked going into the season with the fact the Panthers passed on drafting a left tackle early in the 2015 NFL Draft because they felt Michael “My Career Is In The Tubes Because Of A Movie” Oher could protect Cam Newtons *ahem* blind side, you can see why Cam appears to be the runaway choice for MVP this season.
With Carolina on the verge of completing one of the best seasons on NFL history despite the anything-but-lofty expectations heading into the season, now seems like the perfect time to look back at how wrong social media was about the Panthers this year.
I think Kelvin Benjamin's injury will hurt Carolina at least twice as much as Jordy Nelson's will hurt Green Bay.
— Bryn Swartz (@eaglescentral) August 23, 2015
— FantasyCoach (@FantasyCoaching) August 23, 2015
Carolina finished the season 15-1 despite being looked at as one of the lower tier teams heading into the season.
Might go through timelines of people that said Kelvin Benjamin sucked all preseason, but now think the Panthers are ruined after his injury.
— Her Fantasy Football (@herfantasyfb) August 21, 2015
I wonder what her findings looked like.
The Panthers murderdeathkilled the Cowboys to the tune of 33-14. It wasn’t even that close.
Cam is about to be named MVP.
How much do you think Kelvin Benjamin's injury will impact Cam and the Panther's offense?
— Erin Coscarelli (@erincoscarelli) August 20, 2015
Got the pre-season injury blues. Kelvin Benjamin out for 2015 season before it even starts. Staring 7-9 in the face is never pleasant.
— Adam Stiles (@astiles) August 19, 2015
Wow that kelvin Benjamin injury puts the panthers at the level of the jags
— Sweet Jones (@BronxBomber45) August 19, 2015
Shit I was really looking forward to getting Kelvin Benjamin in the fantasy football this year… the panthers are done for now
— Kevin Stevens (@littlestevens26) August 20, 2015
Kelvin Benjamin tore his ACL? Panthers are done
— Moore or Less (@SoomuchMoore) August 20, 2015
Kelvin Benjamin only good player on the panthers now is DONE LMAO
— Tank (@XxXtank007) August 19, 2015
The Carolina @Panthers are already done for and the season hasn't started yet. Get well Kelvin! #13
— Kevin Levine™ (@SouthMale1Kevin) August 19, 2015
Kelvin Benjamin done and so is the panthers season
— Mi$fit Philthy (@CPhillips816) August 19, 2015
— Ashton Blazquez (@Mosschop49) August 19, 2015
Kelvin Benjamin injured. Your season is over before it even begins….Ya'll done. @Panthers
— Sara Alansari (@Ansari_S) August 19, 2015
Panthers fans hearing about Kelvin Benjamin injury like pic.twitter.com/Yxlt7eXhvN
— Aaron J. Pellot (@AJPONE) August 19, 2015
At least one Panther fan was irresponsibly optimistic about the season:
Six months from now after the Panthers win the Super Bowl we'll all sit back and laugh about how Kelvin Benjamin's injury was just a hiccup.
— Jefferson Cooper (@Jefferspin) August 19, 2015
Dab on, Carolina. Dab on.