The season would be a huge success. The Panthers would go a surprising 11–5 to earn the #3 seed in the NFC Playoffs. They would defeat the Dallas Cowboys 29–10 in the Wild Card playoffs. The next week in St. Louis, the game would go to double overtime and on the first play of the second overtime, Steve Smith caught a pass by Jake Delhomme and took it 69 yards into the endzone to put an end to the game.
In the Conference Championship game, the Panthers traveled to Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia to play the Eagles who were in their 3rd straight conference championship game, but had yet to win one. The Panthers would continue the story with a 14–3 victory, which was dominated by Ricky Manning's three interceptions that kept the Eagles at bay.