NFC Divisional Playoffs
(6) Seahawks at (1) Panthers
Seahawks: What a game last week in frigid Minneapolis, Minnesota. You talk about having to grind a game out and that’s exactly what they did. Their offense was very ineffective due to the weather and they weren’t able to make those passes down the field like we’ve seen throughout the season. They only scored ten points but still got the job done and now they’ve advanced on. They are showing their championship pedigree when it matters most and I think they’re really appreciating the “underdog” title that’s been given to them. They’ve got it rolling at the right time and this is hands down the most complete team they’ve had under Pete Carroll. The offense has been the engine to this team and the defense is handling its business. With a win on Sunday afternoon, the Seahawks will be in their third straight NFC Title Game with a chance to advance to the Super Bowl once again and represent the NFC three years in a row.
Panthers: I’ll be the first to admit when I bash a team and I wasn’t sold on them. Through the first four games of the regular season, there were six undefeated teams and the Carolina Panthers were one of them. I remember saying on the air that out of every undefeated team remaining, the Panthers are the one I have the least amount of confidence in because they had a very easy schedule in the beginning (Jacksonville, Houston, New Orleans and Tampa Bay) and their offense would struggle in games later on in the season because they were so dependent on Greg Olsen. They silenced everyone, especially myself and Cam Newton has turned Ted Ginn Jr and Devin Funchess into household names. That’s what an MVP does and those words come from my radio associate. The road to 50 will travel through Charlotte, North Carolina and the Panthers are playing very confident football right now.
Prediction: Let us not forget that these Panthers beat the two teams that people considered to be the class of the NFC and that’s the Green Bay Packers and these Seattle Seahawks. These Panthers and Seahawks know each other very well and this has almost become a rivalry when you look at it. Whenever they play, it’s a dogfight and I’m not expecting anything less than that on Sunday. This is a much different Seahawks team now than what we saw in week six because they were still trying to find themselves and establish their identity as a team and defensively, they gave up 162 yards passing to Cam Newton in the fourth quarter of that game. For Carolina: You won’t beat Seattle throwing screen passes, you have to take shots down the field attack that secondary. Move Ginn around and put him in the slot and force Sherman to come into the slot because he struggles there. The key for the Seahawks will be to double Greg Olsen in the redzone, take Ginn away and don’t let Cam out the pocket and control the game with his feet. I like the Seahawks on the road in this one. Seahawks 23 Panthers 20.