Seahawks will challenge the
Panthers in a lot of ways. First, Seattle has been to
the winner's circle twice, knows
how to win it and is unafraid to go on the road and take on the best, including the
Panthers at their place. Seattle's defense is rounding into form, forcing teams to play one-dimensional, and the unit is a good matchup for the
Panthers' offense in terms of style of play.
Russell Wilson has found his groove, and the connection
between him and Doug Baldwin gives them what they need to win potential shootouts. I think
Marshawn Lynch will be healthy, fresh and ready to go this postseason, which will help Seattle make a run.
Even though Carolina is 13-0, they might not be the best team in the NFC. If the
Cardinals can shut down Carolina's run game (
ranked second in the league), would the
Panthers be able to counter by throwing the ball? We know Arizona can run and throw. We haven't seen anyone stop Carolina's run game yet this season, so if that happens, it'll be interesting to watch.
Seattle is playing the most dangerous brand of football right now. They are the scariest team to face for the first time this season after finding their rhythm offensively. The
Seahawks have guys you wouldn't necessarily have game planned for before, in
Tyler Lockett and
Doug Baldwin, who are all of a sudden becoming matchup problems. The defense, which we thought was getting old,
has a rejuvenated spirit as of late. If there's one team that's built to take down the
Panthers, it's Seattle.
Seahawks know what it takes to get into the postseason, as well as the extra steps of getting to the
Super Bowl. There's a reason they've appeared in the last two
Super Bowls. They are the toughest team mentally, and I'd go with them in the postseason if I had to pick a team, despite Carolina being on a roll.
Cardinals are probably the most well-rounded team in the NFL. They have the
top-ranked offense and
fourth-ranked defense, so they'll be able to compete on the scoreboard and slow down Newton and the
Carson Palmer is a veteran who can handle the blitz and fit the ball into tight coverage. I think Arizona is the team that is best built to beat Carolina.
Seahawks are the toughest team right now, with the way
Russell Wilson is playing.
Since Jimmy Graham went down, they've been able to go back to the offense they were trying to be and have been the last couple of years, and it's worked. To travel all the way to Baltimore and
beat the Ravens like they did was special. The
Seahawks have the potential to win out, given that they
and St. Louis before
traveling to play Arizona in the regular-season finale.