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Super Bowl XXXVIII - Carolina Panthers vs New England Patriots - February 1, 2004

Jake Delhomme (17) tosses a pass while under pressure from Willie McGinest (55) in Super Bowl XXXVIII (Source: Rex Brown / Getty)

An Adam Vinatieri 41-yard field goal was all that stood in the way of the Carolina Panthers having a chance to go to overtime and win their first Super Bowl just eight years into their existence as a franchise. Now, 20 years later, the run is what people remember more than the heartbreak they felt on that night.

The team started the season 5-0, but after a three-game losing streak in the middle of the season, the team had fallen to 8-5 and allowed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New Orleans Saints to close within two games of the division lead. They would close the regular season strong, though, winning each of their last three games and headed into the playoffs as one of the hottest teams in the league.

The Panthers would blast the Dallas Cowboys in the Wild Card Round, sending them to St. Louis to take on “The Greatest Show on Turf”. The game would go into double overtime where quarterback Jake Delhomme and Steve Smith would combine for arguably the most iconic moment in franchise history. In a play now known as ‘X-Clown’, Smith would execute a perfect post-corner route where he would beat Jason Seahorn inside and Delhomme would put a perfect pass on him that would allow him to cut up field. Smith would outrun Adam Archuleta and send the team to Philadelphia for the NFC Championship Game.

NFC Divisional Playoffs: Panthers v Rams

Steve Smith (89) leaves Jason Sehorn (42) and Tommy Polley (52) behind as he races for the game-winning 69-yard touchdown in the Panthers’ 29-23 win in double overtime in the 2004 NFC Divisional Round (Source: Doug Benc / Getty)


The trip to Philadelphia was expected to be a tough one against an Eagles team that was primed to make the Super Bowl after losing the last two NFC title games. The offense didn’t have the most productive night, registering just 256 yards, but that was in part because of how dominant the defense was. The Panthers would force four interceptions from Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb as they held an offense that averaged 30.7 points per game and scored 25 against them in the regular season matchup in Charlotte to just three points.

Delhomme stopped by with the Mac & Bone Show this morning to talk about the magical run, as well as the gameplan in the Super Bowl that eventually allowed them to tie the game before they would ultimately fall short. Listen to the full interview below and be sure to subscribe to the Mac & Bone Show feed wherever you listen to your podcasts so that you don’t miss great upcoming interviews with new Panthers head coach Dave Canales and Delhomme’s teammates from the Super Bowl team, Brentson Buckner.