NFC South: Will the Carolina Panthers beat the Seattle Seahawks?
The much-anticipated rematch between the No.1 seed Carolina Panthers and the No.6 seed Seattle Seahawks is set to kick off in just seven hours from Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Coming in, the Panthers already have a win against the Seahawks in Seattle earlier this season after a furious comeback led to a 27-23 win.
However, beating a team twice in the same season is no easy task. Just ask the Panthers about their second go-around with the Atlanta Falcons in week 16.
The Panthers are the No.1 ranked scoring team in the NFL but the Seahawks have the No.1 ranked defense in the league. Despite scoring more often than the Seahawks, the Panthers do no average more yards per game. That nod goes to the Seahawks who average 378.6 to the Panthers’ 366.9.
Both teams have extremely balanced on offense. They each rush for more than 140 yards per game and have nearly identical time of possession’s as well.
The one player that the Seahawks struggled the most against in their first meeting was Panthers’ tight end Greg Olsen. Olsen hauled in seven receptions for 131 yards and caught the game-winning touchdown late in the fourth quarter.
In order to win, the Seahawks’ defense must find a way to eliminate Olsen from making big plays and that job will be up to strong safety Kam Chancellor most of the time.
The one player that the Panthers must slow down is running back Marshawn Lynch who has yet to play in the playoffs. Lynch has been recovering from a surgery that took place awhile back but is expected to play.
Lynch hasn’t had a strong season, but you can never count out “beast mode” in the playoffs. Lynch is known for saving his best for the playoffs and will need to bring it against the Panthers later today.
This game very well could determine who plays in the super bowl in a few short weeks and could possibly determine who brings home the Lombardi trophy.
This is must-see television, folks. Tune into FOX to hear Joe Buck and Troy Aikman call the game.
Prediction: Seahawks 20 Panthers 28