Here’s why you shouldn’t pick the Panthers to win Super Bowl 51

Despite Sunday’s result, there is a prevailing thought that the Carolina Panthers were the best team in the NFL. To some extent, there’s a solid case to be made.

Cam Newton was the NFL MVP, accounting for 45 touchdowns in the regular season. Their offense led the league with 31.3 points per game despite not having top wideout Kelvin Benjamin. The Panthers had only lost once before Denver took it to them 24-10 in Super Bowl 50.

With Benjamin back next season, and assuming they find a way to keep cornerback Josh Norman, there’s a lot of reason to think the Panthers will get better –€“ not worse — going forward and could wash away the stench of an ugly Super Bowl performance.

But for those of you picking Carolina to win Super Bowl 51 (well, Super Bowl LI, as the NFL shifts back to Roman numerals), beware that history is not on their side.

In the 50 years the Super Bowl has now been in existence, only twice has a losing team gone back the next year and won. More shockingly, it hasn’t been done since the 1972-73 Dolphins’ perfect 17-0 season. They had lost to the Cowboys the year before.

Even more ironically, that 1971-72 Cowboys team had lost the year before that to the Baltimore Colts. So those are the only two Super Bowl losers to go back and win the next year. Super Bowls VI and VII. 

That’s a long time.

A Super Bowl loser hasn’t even made it back to the big game to lose again since the Bills failed four times from 1990-93.

So now that you’ve had your history lesson, you can decide if you want to roll with the Panthers as your early pick for next season.  

If Vegas is your standard barometer, however, the odds are not ever in the Panthers’ favor.