Playoff finish Did not qualify
General manager Dave Gettleman
Home field Bank of America Stadium
|Division place 4th NFC South|
Head coach Ron Rivera
Owner Jerry Richardson
|Pro Bowlers 5
LB Thomas Davis
LB Luke Kuechly
TE Greg Olsen
FB Mike Tolbert
G Trai Turner|
AP All-Pros 2 TE Greg Olsen (2nd team) LB Luke Kuechly (2nd team)
Similar 2014 Carolina Panthers, 2016 NFL season, 2016 Tampa Bay Buccane, 2016 Washington Redskins, 2016 San Francisco 49ers sea
The 2016 Carolina Panthers season was the franchise's 22nd season in the National Football League and the sixth under head coach Ron Rivera. It was also the team's 20th season at Bank of America Stadium. The previous year, the Panthers achieved their highest win total in franchise history with a 15–1 record. They entered the 2016 season as the defending NFC champions and NFC South champions, but missed the playoffs for the first time since 2012 with a 6-10 record. The Panthers became the first team in NFL history to go 15–1 and miss the playoffs the following year, the first runners up in the Super Bowl to miss the playoffs the next year since the 2008 New England Patriots, and failed to win a division title for the first time in three seasons.
- Regular season
- Week 1 at Denver Broncos
- Week 2 vs San Francisco 49ers
- Week 3 vs Minnesota Vikings
- Week 4 at Atlanta Falcons
- Week 5 vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Week 6 at New Orleans Saints
- Week 7 Bye week
- Week 8 vs Arizona Cardinals
- Week 9 at Los Angeles Rams
- Week 10 vs Kansas City Chiefs
- Week 11 vs New Orleans Saints
- Week 12 at Oakland Raiders
- Week 13 at Seattle Seahawks
- Week 14 vs San Diego Chargers
- Week 15 at Washington Redskins
- Week 16 vs Atlanta Falcons
Note: Intra-division opponents are in bold text.
Week 1: at Denver Broncos
NFL Kickoff game
The Panthers blew a 17–7 lead in a fourth quarter which saw the Broncos put up 14 points. Down 21–20, Graham Gano attempted a potential game winning 50 yard kick but the ball flew wide left, handing the Panthers a 0–1 start to the season.
Week 2: vs. San Francisco 49ers
In their home opener, the Panthers looked to win their first game of the season. Carolina went into the fourth quarter with a 21-point lead over the 49ers; with about eight minutes left in the game, San Francisco managed to get within seven of tying the game. Carolina ended up scoring three more times before the game finished and won 46–27, improving to 1–1 on the year.
Week 3: vs. Minnesota Vikings
The Panthers' fourteen home game winning streak came to an end after losing to Minnesota. They fell to 1–2 as Cam Newton was sacked eight times by the Minnesota defense and threw three picks.
Week 4: at Atlanta Falcons
It was not Carolina's day as the defense had a very hard time putting pressure on Matt Ryan, who threw for 500 yards and four touchdowns, one of them to Julio Jones, who had a monster game, catching 12 passes for 300 yards. It was another rough day for Newton, who left the game with a concussion in the fourth quarter, allowing backup QB Derek Anderson into action. Anderson threw both a pair of touchdowns and interceptions as the Panthers would drop to 1-3.
Week 5: vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
After being held scoreless in the first half, the Panthers scored two touchdowns in the third quarter. Tampa Bay followed up with a touchdown to tie the game. Late in the fourth quarter, the Buccaneers made a field goal to win 17–14. With the loss the Panthers fall to 1–4.
Week 6: at New Orleans Saints
With Cam Newton returning from a concussion, the Panthers urged a late comeback and tied the game at 38–38, but New Orleans kicker Wil Lutz hit the gamewinner to seal the 41–38 victory for the Saints. With the loss the Panthers drop to 1–5, their worst record since 2012.
Week 7: Bye week
No game. Carolina had their bye week on Week 7.
Week 8: vs. Arizona Cardinals
The Panthers returned from their bye week for a rematch of the previous year's NFC Championship game, in which the Panthers defeated the Cardinals 49–15. The Panthers went up 24–7 before halftime and maintained their lead to win the game 30–20, giving them their second win of the season and a 2–5 record.
Week 9: at Los Angeles Rams
After the Panthers went into the fourth quarter with a seven-point lead, Graham Gano kicked a field goal making it 10–0. After both teams kicked field goals, and with less than two minutes left in the game, Los Angeles scored a touchdown, but the Panthers manage to win 13–10 improving to 3–5.
Week 10: vs. Kansas City Chiefs
The Panthers went into the fourth quarter with a 17–3 lead over the Chiefs but things changed when Cairo Santos kicked a field goal, and Eric Berry had a pick six. Santos makes another field goal, tying the game at 17. In the Panthers' last possession of the game, the ball was stripped out of Kelvin Benjamin's hands and Kansas City gets the ball back. Santos makes the game winning field goal for the Chiefs, and the Panthers fall to 3–6.
Week 11: vs. New Orleans Saints
After their embarrassing 17-point comeback loss four days prior, the Panthers hosted the New Orleans Saints in a Thursday Night 'Color Rush' Matchup. Just like in the Chiefs game, the Panthers went into the fourth quarter holding New Orleans to only three points. They had a 23–3 lead but the Saints managed to rally and get within three with 5:11 left in the game. Late in the fourth quarter star linebacker Luke Kuechly left the game and was evaluated for a concussion. The Panthers were able to hold off New Orleans and win 23–20, improving to 4–6.
Week 12: at Oakland Raiders
Carolina had a rough start in the first half, only scoring seven points, and went into halftime seventeen points behind Oakland. They turned things around and had an explosive third quarter scoring eighteen points giving them a one-point lead over the Raiders. In the fourth quarter the Panthers went on to score seven but the Raiders answered back tying the game. In their last possession of the game the ball was taken from Cam Newton giving Oakland the ball back. Carolina could not hold on as Oakland kicked a field goal winning the game. They fall to 4–7.
Week 13: at Seattle Seahawks
The Panthers were defeated by the Seahawks 40–7, and fell to 4–8.
Week 14: vs. San Diego Chargers
The Panthers managed to win at home, defeating San Diego 28–16. They improved to 5–8.
Week 15: at Washington Redskins
In their second Monday Night Football game of the season, the Panthers took on the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland. Carolina defeated Washington 26–15, and kept their slim chances of making the playoffs alive by improving to 6–8.
Week 16: vs. Atlanta Falcons
With the loss, the Panthers fell to 6-9, officially eliminating them from the playoffs. They are the first team to go 15-1 the previous season and miss the playoffs the next season, as well as the first Super Bowl runner-up to miss the playoffs since the 2008 New England Patriots.