As you prepare for a Thanksgiving feast of football, food and family, here are three Panther numbers I find significant:
8 -- Although it has been widely reported the Panthers have now tied the team's all-time winning streak record with seven consecutive wins, that's only sort of true. In the regular season, yes, that's right -- the 1996 team was once 5-4 and then finished 12-4 with seven straight. But that '96 team then beat Dallas in its first playoff game, so really it won eight straight. To get to eight, the Panthers will need to beat Tampa Bay at home Sunday at 1 p.m., a task that looks a little more daunting now than it did three weeks ago when the Bucs were 0-8.
15 -- That's the total number of Panther interceptions this season, and that's significant. Last year's team only had 11 all year, and no single defensive back had more than two. This year three players (Mike Mitchell, Luke Kuechly, pictured above after one of his picks, and Robert Lester) already have three. The fact that the Panthers are catching most of the balls they have a chance to catch this season -- not all of them, though, and I'm talking to you, Captain Munnerlyn -- has played a big part in the defensive success.
27 -- The Panthers are now No.1 in scoring defense by a wide margin, allowing 13.7 points per game. How wide is that margin? Kansas City and Seattle are tied for No.2 in the NFL in scoring D. But if KC and Seattle shut out their opponents this weekend and Carolina gave up 27 points to Tampa Bay, the Panthers would still be No.1.