The Panthers joined the NFL in 1995
and were instantly competitive. Carolina finished its
inaugural season with a 7-9 record to set a new NFL record for
wins by an expansion team. The following season, the Panthers
claimed a division title and advanced to the conference title
game. Then, in 2003, just two seasons removed from a 1-15
record, Carolina won the NFC championship to gain its first
Super Bowl berth.