Seattle must make the most of their home-field advantage against the Panthers.
The Saints took control of the NFC South with a 28-10 victory over the Panthers last night, their first win in Carolina since 2011. New Orleans enters a three-game home stretch with a 4-4 record, while Carolina (3-5-1), which only has one win in its last seven games, travels to Philadelphia in 10 days.
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The Carolina Panthers cut the face of the franchise, Steve Smith, and let the only other three wide receivers on the roster that caught a pass last season leave as free agents. Tight end Greg Olsen is the only proven receiver returning from last season’s squad. Olsen should be Cam Newton’s favorite target this season.
It’s a poorly-kept secret that the Seattle Seahawks don’t mind taking a penalty flag or two for pass interference or defensive holding in exchange for five or six no-calls on borderline plays. Supposedly, the NFL will be cracking down on physical play in the defensive backfield. If true-and that’s a big if-it could mean even bigger numbers for the quarterbacks.
The Carolina Panthers really weren’t even expected to contend for a playoff spot this season, but they surpassed all expectations and then some. Unfortunately, a team they got the better of during the regular season got the better of them in the playoffs.
When Panthers Coach Ron Rivera said that he felt the team under the most pressure this week will be San Francisco he was dead wrong. Not only is his team the one that HAS to win this game, if he really believes that the Panthers are playing with house money he is setting his team up for failure.
The Carolina Panthers have not been to the playoffs since 2008. The upcoming game against the San Francisco 49ers will mark just the fifth time in franchise history that the Panthers have been to the playoffs, and that means the team is severely lacking in playoff experience.
Up next for the 49ers are the Carolina Panthers. Although the Panthers came to Candlestick earlier this season and beat San Francisco, the 49ers are the better team and have a very good shot at winning their second straight road playoff game.