The Carolina Panthers have had one hell of a season. They've made tremendous progress since a couple of years ago when they were the NFL's worst team and are on their way to the playoffs.
Cam Newton's maturation as an NFL player and leader was an integral part of the team's success this season, however he was not the only notable name from their 2013 squad. Luke Kuechly was the heart and soul of Carolina's vaunted defense, a unit that was tops in the NFL for the greater part of the year.
The Panthers' overall growth as a team is what's made them contenders, and the chemistry they have on both sides of the ball has helped them come a long way.
*All stats courtesy of NFL.com*