Of the NFL playoff games this weekend, the Carolina Panthers versus the Seattle Seahawks offers a lot of intrigue. Their game is one of four contests that should keep fans glued to the television sets.
Which team will be victorious once the NFL Divisional playoff game between the Panthers and Seahawks game come to a close?
The playoff prediction for the game may not come out the way most would expect. In fact, this game between the Panthers and Seahawks should be unpredictable to say the least. That contest alone will make the NFL a must-see product this weekend.
In last week’s NFL Wildcard round, every game was won by the road team, though the outcomes of each game offered little to no surprises. Many of the prognosticators had playoff predictions with each road team winning. The Seattle Seahawks was expected to beat the Minnesota Vikings. The Kansas City Chiefs were favorite against the Houston Texans. As for the other two games – Cincinnati versus Pittsburgh and Green Bay against Washington, they were pick ’em games. Those who accurately chose the winners in those contests were going off the trends of each team, or the experience of their respective quarterbacks.
Playoff predictions will not be an easy thing to do with the games of the NFL Divisional round. Unlike last week, the matchups could prove to be great. This includes what many people believe will be the best game out of the quartet.
This week features a couple of the games with potential budding rivalries, but again, the most interesting game with lasting implications is the Carolina Panthers versus Seattle Seahawks game. The two teams are starting not to like each other, and it will be apparent once they get on the football field. This will be the second consecutive year in which the Panthers and Seahawks will meet in the playoffs. Last season the game was held in Seattle at Century Link Field; this year it is Carolina who will host the game as the NFC’s top seed. According to the Seattle Times, the playoff predictions for this game are split among the national media.
Much of that has to do with the fact that the Seahawks return most of the core players from the two teams which appeared in the Super Bowl in consecutive years. There is a disbelief that the Carolina Panthers are as good as their 15-1 record suggests. The playoff prediction here is that the Panthers prove to be legitimate in a 27-23 victory.
Seahawks’ running back Marshawn Lynch reportedly will return to the lineup, as told to ESPN. The problem is that Lynch struggled to get on track when he was healthy. He rushed for 3.8 yards per carry in the seven games he played. The Panthers will be ready for him this Sunday. Besides, as a team, the Panthers only gave up an average of 88.4 ground yards per contest. Even though Marshawn Lynch will play, he will find it hard to get the yardage.
Conversely, the NFL’s second-best running attack of the Carolina Panthers will look to test Seattle’s top rushing defense.
It is a certainty that the Panthers will run the football with Jonathan Stewart and Mike Tolbert. They will do so if for no other reason than to keep Russell Wilson and the Seahawks’ offense on the sidelines. Since Panthers’ quarterback Cam Newton is always a threat to run with the football, the Seahawks must keep an eye on him, or else the game will get out of hand fast. Newton has a few safety valves in the offense that will help minimize the miscues.
One of those safety nets is tight end Greg Olsen. The website Fantasy Sharks lists Olsen as the No. 2 fantasy tight end among those who are playing this week. A lot of their ranking has to do with the fact that Greg Olsen lit the Seahawks up with 131 yards and a touchdown, which came from seven catches. His final catch was the game-winning score that stunned the Seahawks in the Pacific Northwest. He will exploit the soft spots in the middle of the Seahawks defense.
A combination of the running game, Cam Newton and Greg Olsen will be enough to prevent the Seattle Seahawks from going to the Super Bowl for a third consecutive season.
The NFL playoffs continue this week with the NFL Divisional round. The most interesting game on paper is the Carolina Panthers versus the Seattle Seahawks. Can the Panthers get the victory? The playoff prediction is yes!
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