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Sunday, August 7, 2011
There is hope for the Panthers

By Pat Yasinskas
ESPN.com

We all know the history of NFC South teams going from worst to first. It’s happened six times since the division began play in 2002.

In the other two seasons that it didn’t happen, the last-place team from the year before ended up with a winning record. That would be the 2008 Atlanta Falcons and the 2010 Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Tampa Bay’s gone from worst to first twice in 2005 and 2007. So has New Orleans. The Saints did it in 2006 and also in 2009, when they won the Super Bowl. The only other team in the NFL that’s gone from worst to first twice since 2002 is the Kansas City Chiefs. They did it in 2003 and again last year.

So maybe there is hope for the Carolina Panthers this season. I know they were 2-14 a year ago, have a new coaching staff and play in a very tough division. But NFC South history has shown that anything is possible.