When LB Thomas Davis went high to catch an onside kickoff by the Seattle Seahawks (photo on right) with 1:11 remaining in the game on Jan. 17 and still had possession of the ball when he hit the ground, effectively clinching the Carolina Panthers' 2nd round victory over the Seahawks, the streak of Super Bowl losers failing to return to the Super Bowl the following season grew one year longer. The Seahawks, heartbreak losers to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl 49 at the end of the 2014 season, should have been eliminated a week earlier. But after they somehow defeated the Minnesota Vikings in round 1, there was no miracle finish this time, as the Panthers hung on for a 31-24 victory to make them the 22nd straight Super Bowl loser not to get back the next year.
Losers to the Seahawks at home the last three seasons in a row (by a total of just 13 points), the Panthers seemingly had gotten that monkey off their back with a 27-23 win at Seattle this season in Week 6; but that monkey would have been right back if they had let the Seahawks come and beat them on their home field again. They wasted no time making sure that didn't happen.