Thomas Davis responds to Panthers' critics

Despite being 11-0, the Carolina Panthers still have a tremendous amount of naysayers. And the team knows it.

"It is a little disrespectful, I guess. But apparently they know something we don't," Panthers coach Ron Rivera said last week in response to his team being underdogs to the then 3-7 Dallas Cowboys.

Carolina went ahead and steamrolled Dallas 33-14 on Thanksgiving, but there's still trepidation about how good the Panthers are.

"I was just on the way in this morning and I was reading something that said we were the worst 11-0 team in the history of 11-0 teams," Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis said on Tuesday's edition of Around The NFL. "I mean, when is it going to end?"

Davis was referring to a recent article on ESPN's FiveThirtyEight that pegged Carolina as the doormat of history's 11-0 clubs.

"Who knows? Maybe they need a story, maybe they need something to talk about other than how well we've been playing. They'd rather talk about what we can't do and what we shouldn't be able to do at this point and how bad we are," the linebacker said.

The Panthers are just the 12th team in the Super Bowl era to start a season 11-0, and they've used a proven formula to get there -- stout defense and a solid run game. Carolina ranks second in the league in total defense and have the No. 4 rushing attack in the NFL.

"It's something that's extremely tough to do in this league. You have so many good football teams in the NFL ... each week there's so many different teams trying to knock you off, and for us to be in this position right now is truly special and you enjoy every minute of it," Davis said.

While it is an accomplishment to start 11-0, Davis and company realize all of the negative talk gives them extra bulletin board material.

"Keep going out and playing like we've been playing and win football games. All we care about right now is the guys in this locker room and how we go out and perform, and that's all that matters to us," he added.

The Panthers have the stats and the unblemished record right now to back them up, but the only thing that will truly silence the critics is if they're playing for a Lombardi Trophy in February.

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