The Panthers didn't clinch a playoff berth with their win over the Colts on Monday, but they might as well have because if NFL history is any indication, the Panthers are a lock to make the playoffs this year.
Carolina's 29-26 win over the Colts improved the Panthers to 7-0 on the season and 7-0 means good things in the NFL.
During the Super Bowl era, 32 teams started the season 7-0 before 2015 and all 32 of those teams have one thing in common: They all made the playoffs. Every single one.
That's good news for the Panthers, Bengals, Broncos and Patriots, who are all 7-0 heading into Week 9, which is the first time in NFL history that four teams have made it to 7-0.
There's even more good news for those four teams: Of the 32 teams that started 7-0 before them, 15 went on to play in the Super Bowl and nine of those 15 would go on to win the Super Bowl.
The bad news for Panthers, Broncos, Bengals and Patriots though, is that the past three teams to start 7-0 didn't make the Super Bowl. The Chiefs (2013), Falcons (2012) and Packers (2011) all lost in the playoffs after starting 7-0. The '13 Chiefs and the 1983 Cowboys were the only 7-0 teams not to win their division.
The 2009 Saints (over a Colts team that started 7-0) and '06 Colts were the last two 7-0 teams that went on to win the Super Bowl.
Basically, fans of the Broncos, Bengals, Panthers and Patriots should be feeling pretty good about the rest of the season.