Seahawks vs Panthers: Staff writer predictions
Jan 3, 2016; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) reacts after scoring in the third quarter. The Panthers defeated the Buccaneers 31-10 at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
For the upcoming Seahawks vs Panthers NFL Playoff game, the staff writing team of The Jet Press weighed in their thoughts.
Even though the NY Jets are out of the NFL Playoffs, we here at The Jet Press are just as excited as many football fans are for the postseason. With teams heading into the Divisional Round weekend, this promises to be another exciting round of playoff football.
The Seahawks travel to face the Panthers in what should be a fantastic match-up between two physical teams. The Seahawks continue to find ways to win as the Panthers have been playing some of their best football in franchise history this season.
Here are some predictions by the staff writing team of The Jet Press for what should be an exciting game between the Seahawks and Panthers.
Next: Panthers win in a very close game
Jan 3, 2016; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers running back Cameron Artis-Payne (34) celebrates with quarterback Cam Newton (1) and fullback Mike Tolbert (35) after scoring a touchdown in the second quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Panthers win in a very close game Luis Tirado Jr.: Twitter – Facebook – Google+
The Panthers are not only taking care of business but they are flat out having fun on the football field. Everything is clicking on all cylinders and although they didn’t get to have that perfect season as many envisioned, they still pretty much play close to perfect football.
It’s hard to predict which version of the Seahawks the football world will see on Sunday. Sometimes they can play true shut-down football and other times don’t even resemble the team that was so dominating that made it straight to the Super Bowl. The Panthers will prove to keep up with the Seahawks in this game but it will be a close one in what I predict to be a nail-biter.
Panthers win win 24, 21
Next: Panthers win with final drive
Jan 3, 2016; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers wide receiver Devin Funchess (17) celebrates with wide receiver Corey Brown (10) after scoring a touchdown in the fourth quarter. The Panthers defeated the Buccaneers 38-10 at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Panthers win with final drive Jason Rodriguez: Twitter
The Seahawks vs Panthers match-up will be the game many will tune in to watch. Last week, the Seahawks caught a break when kicker Blair Walsh of the Minnesota Vikings missed a 27 yard field goal and it allowed the Seahawks to advance.
These two teams have played great football games when they have played one another as it always goes down to the last possession or one of the two teams that make a big mistake. The Panthers will need to mix the play calling up in order for their team to be successful because the Seahawks’ defense is playing at a different level.
Cam Newton will need to be smart with the football because the defense of the Seahawks has been playing the way they have been the past two seasons. This will be a battle in the trenches because both defenses are very good and one of them will need to step up big because both teams will need to contain both of their mobile quarterback’s who are game changers.
The Panthers will be able to force a fumble or interception that will be the difference maker. The game will be won on a late drive by the Panthers.
Next: Seahawks will pull the upset
Jan 10, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin (89) scores a touchdown past Minnesota Vikings cornerback Josh Robinson (21) in the second half of a NFC Wild Card playoff football game at TCF Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
Seahawks will pull the upset Danielle McCartan: Twitter – Facebook
The Panthers are not as good as their regular season record implies.
In their 15-game undefeated stretch, the Panthers had six games (one in overtime) decided by an average of 4.2 points: an extremely tight margin. The last time these two teams squared off (Week 6), Carolina ultimately won on a touchdown pass with 34 seconds remaining on the clock in regulation.
This is a very different Seahawks team than in Week 6, however. Down the stretch (between Weeks 10 and 15), Doug Baldwin, Seahawks’ wide receiver, has 10 touchdowns. If Marshawn Lynch is not sidelined, he, coupled with Russell Wilson’s sensational improvisational skills, will spread Carolina’s defense thin, making them susceptible to huge gains downfield.
Although the Legion of Boom struggles to cover tight ends and the Panthers are equipped with one of the best in the league (Greg Olsen), expect Seattle to make defensive adjustments from Week 6 and be able to handle him. The key to a Seahawks’ victory will be the containment of Newton in the pocket, especially with Richard Sherman, one of the best cornerbacks in the league, neutralizing WR Ted Ginn,
Expect the Seahawks to pull an upset special in North Carolina Sunday afternoon.
Next: Panthers squeak out a win
Jan 3, 2016; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) looks to pass as guard Tyronne Green (68) and running back Cameron Artis-Payne (34) block in the first quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Panthers squeak out a win Christopher Stephano: Twitter Don’t let their underwhelming fluke win over the Vikings fool you. The Seahawks have the playoff experience, the suffocating defense and the star quarterback to make serious noise in the postseason.
Unfortunately for Seattle, this is Carolina’s time. Behind MVP candidate Newton, the Panthers have posted the best scoring offense in the NFL this season. This game will be close and low scoring, but look for Newton to make just enough big plays in crunch time to pull off the victory.
Final: Panthers 24, Seahawks 21
Next: Panthers win by a field goal
Jan 3, 2016; Charlotte, NC, USA; The Carolina Panthers pose for pictures on the in the fourth quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Bank of America Stadium. The Panthers defeated the Buccaneers 38-10. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
Panthers win by a field goal Todd Gerstenhaber: Twitter
If the Seahawks make another deep run, their team MVP should be Blair Walsh. I think the better team came out of this matchup, but the Seahawks weren’t at their usual playoff best.
In the past two playoffs, the Seahawks have had the luxury of playing at home, where they had a massive advantage. They also had a guy named Marshawn Lynch, who may or may not be as effective this weekend, which could change the game significantly.
All of the pressure lies on the Panthers in this matchup as nobody would be terribly discouraged by a Seahawks loss – especially if Lynch does not play up to par. Teams do not go 15-1 too often, and the need to capitalize on these types of seasons for a franchise that has not experienced a ton of success is incredibly important. I think the Panthers squeeze this one out.
Score: Panthers 24 Seahawks 21
Next: Panthers win by one
Jan 3, 2016; Charlotte, NC, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Donteea Dye (17) gets tackled for a loss by Carolina Panthers defensive back Cortland Finnegan (26) and middle linebacker Luke Kuechly (59) during the second quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
Panthers win by one Paul Esden Jr.: Twitter – Facebook
This is one of my favorite games of the Divisional round, we have the what some would call the lucky or very fortunate Seattle Seahawks traveling to play arguably the best team in all of football in the 15-1 Carolina Panthers.
The Seahawks’ luck will run out in this game as the Panthers have been playing with a chip on their shoulder and they won’t disappoint in a back and forth affair that ultimately they will pull out.
Panthers win a close one 27-26.
Next: Panthers will take care of business
Dec 27, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen (88) carries the ball after a catch defended by Atlanta Falcons outside linebacker Justin Durant (52) in the fourth quarter at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Panthers will take care of business Ryan Patti: Twitter
These two teams met in Week 6 and the Panthers came out on top 27-23 in the final seconds. MVP candidate Newton led Carolina down the field and hit Greg Olsen down the seam for the game-winner. Seattle has become a different team since then, but Newton and the Panthers still have that same determination.
Carolina has lost just one game this season and it came against their division rival Falcons. Ron Rivera’s group was forced to sling the ball for a majority of the game due to Jonathan Stewart’s injury and Cam had one of his worst outings of the year. Besides that slip up, the Panthers have been almost perfect, and it seems like the only thing that could slow them down is the two-week break.
Overall, you can expect the Panthers to “keep pounding.” Seattle is lucky to be even playing this game after scoring just 10 points against the Vikings and winning on a shanked 27-yarder. Yes the Seahawks’ defense looked impressive, but now they face a juggernaut in the Panthers.
Prediction: Panthers 27-16
Next: Seahawks will leave victorious
Jan 3, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) hands off to running back Fred Jackson (22) during the second half against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Seahawks will leave victorious Mark Kelly: Twitter
The Seahawks barely escaped the frigid weather in Minnesota “shanks” to Blair Walsh to provide us with a rematch of last seasons Divisional Round playoff game, this time though with Carolina playing host. Wilson and Newton have both been so incredibly dynamic this season, especially of late, both throwing and running the football.
Since Week 10 this season, Wilson and Newton have combined for 44 touchdowns and just two interceptions, while throwing for 3,706 yards with a completion percentage of 67.3. How incredible is that and who do you pick?
I’m sorry Carolina, but Seattle’s experience and incredible luck in getting by Minnesota tells me the football gods are on their side. Carolina will be back, but 2015 will be another learning experience for them. Lets just hope for their fans sake they don’t turn into the 1998 Vikings or 2011 Packers who couldn’t build on a 15-1 season, but more like the 2004 Steelers who after finishing 15-1 won the Super Bowl in 2005.
Next: Panthers will blowout Seahawks
Dec 27, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) runs for a touchdown in the first quarter against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Panthers will blowout Seahawks Mike Valverde: Twitter
The Seahawks shouldn’t have gotten this far, and the Panthers are going to prove why. Carolina wins in the blowout game of the week 27-10.
Next: Seahawks win a close game
Nov 1, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch (24) runs the ball against Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy (76) in the second quarter at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Seahawks win a close game Paul Harris: Twitter
Finally, arguably the most exciting matchup of the weekend. Seahawks vs Panthers. You have Wilson and the Legion of Boom who have been to the Super Bowl the past two years and were literally inches away from being back to back winners.
Then the (assumed) MVP Newton and the turnover forcing defense featuring Luke Kuechly and Josh Norman who almost went all the way but finished 15-1 on the season. This is going to be a great game no doubt, and very defensive just like last week in Minnesota, but I’m afraid Newton isn’t going to be able to carry his team to victory this go around.
The Seahawks’ defense will force a Panther turnover or two, and I believe Wilson won’t be afraid to take some shots on the intimidating Panthers’ defense. This game will come down to the turnover battle, and late game penalties committed. Look for the Panthers to lose their cool and make a mental mistake late in the game.
Seahawks 20 Panthers 17.
Next: Seahawks will win
Dec 13, 2015; Baltimore, MD, USA; Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll walks down the sidelines during the second half against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Seattle Seahawks defeated Baltimore Ravens 35-6. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Seahawks will win Steven Blush: Twitter
The Jets’ 1994 head coach Pete Carroll’s Seahawks squad is coming together at the right time. Look for their experience to win out over the favored Panthers, whose WR Jerricho Cotchery — the most veteran Jets-drafted player in the NFL — begged out of Rex Ryan’s circus in 2011.
Next: Panthers will take this one
Dec 27, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Carolina Panthers defensive unit reacts prior to facing the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
Panthers will take this one Genna Preston: Twitter – Facebook
The Seattle Seahawks and Carolina Panthers is the game to watch this weekend. The 15-1 Panthers attempt to defeat the two-time NFC champions in their attempts to make it to the Super Bowl.
Newton ended the season with 35 passing touchdowns, and they were the only team in the league to go undefeated at home. With home field advantage and Olsen, the Panthers could go into this week ahead of the game.
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Don’t get me wrong, Wilson has had an incredible season and has taken the Seahawks to victory. With Lynch still day to day, the Seahawks will rely heavily on Christine Michael regardless of Lynch’s status.
I would be shocked if the Seahawks won this game. Newton’s strong passing game, running abilities and home field advantage are enough to convince me the Panthers will take this one.