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Panthers just the 4th team in NFL history to start 14-0, putting Atlanta in historic company

The Falcons ended one of the great streaks in NFL history.

Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

You have to tip your cap to the Carolina Panthers, who ran roughshod over the NFL en route to a 14-0 start to the season. They had some close calls along the way, but their combination of incredibly tough defense, a strong ground game, and Cam Newton's best season made for some historically terrific football.

According to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the Panthers were just the fourth team in NFL history to start 14-0. One of those teams went undefeated through the Super Bowl (the '72 Dolphins), one lost in the Super Bowl (the 2007 Patriots), and one that lost a game in Week 16, just like the Panthers (the '09 Colts). In other words, the Falcons' 20-13 win over the Panthers was a historic one that ensured Carolina would not remain undefeated like the Dolphins, no matter what happens the rest of the way.

The Panthers' season isn't over yet, while the Falcons likely have just one game left. That was still a magnificent moment for Atlanta.