The Seattle Seahawks vs. Carolina Panthers NFC Divisional Playoff game will be streaming live online Sunday, giving football fans the chance to watch the most anticipated matchup of the weekend as the defending NFC Champion Seahawks visit the Panthers who finished their season at a nearly invincible 15-1, only the seventh team to win 15 or more games since the NFL schedule jumped from 14 to 16 games in 1978.
Though the game features two of the most exciting, versatile quarterbacks in the NFL, in Cam Newton of Carolina and Russel Wilson of Seattle, the game appears just as likely to be a bruising confrontation decided by two of the top defenses in the league.
Led by linebacker Luke Kuechly and cornerback Josh Norman, the Panthers defense was the second-best in the NFL in stifling the opposing offense, allowing just 4.9 yards per play. But the Seahawks tied them for second, also allowing 4.9 yards per offensive play.
The Seattle defense was better, however, in the most important department — keeping opponents off the scoreboard. The Seahawks permitted their opposition a mere 17.3 points per game, best in the NFL. The Panthers, while also in possession of a shut-down defense, were sixth-best at 19.25 points per game allowed.
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The Seattle offense will see the return of “Beast Mode” running back Marshawn Lynch, who opted out of last weekend’ Wild Card game against the Minnesota Vikings at the last minute. But at least as of Saturday evening, Lynch was expected to make his first appearance since November 15, when the Seahawks take the field against Carolina.
The problem, however, is that Lynch was not especially effective even when he did play in 2015, averaging just 3.8 yards in only 111 rushing attempts in his seven games. The Seahawks were 3-4 with Lynch in the game — but 7-2 in his absence.
See how the ESPN First Take crew of Stephen A. Smith, Skip Bayless and Molly Qerim predict that the Seattle-Carolina game will turn out, in the video below.
To find out how to watch the Seattle Seahawks vs. Carolina Panthers NFC Divisional Playoff game live online, see the streaming link in the final paragraph of this article. Kickoff for the early game on Sunday, January 17, is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina — 10:05 a.m. Pacific Time.
The winner goes on to face the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC Championship Game next Sunday, January 24. If Seattle wins, they’ll travel to Arizona. But if Carolina wins on Saturday, the Panthers will host the NFC title clash.
Playing at home, the Panthers are being seen by Las Vegas oddsmakers as 2 1/2 point favorites, and the mathematical formula used by Pro Football Reference gives Carolina a narrow, 54 percent chance of emerging victorious and moving on to their first conference championship game since 2005.
These two teams met in Seattle back in Week Six, when Carolina came away with a narrow, 27-23 victory. Saturday’s playoff game will be only the 11th time the Seahawks and Panthers have ever faced each other. Seattle has won seven of the previous 10 meetings.
Can the Carolina Panthers reach the NFC Championship game for the fourth time in their 21-year history? Or will the defending NFC champs, the Seattle Seahawks, move one win away from returning to the Super Bowl for the third consecutive season? To find out, watch the Seattle Seahawks vs. Carolina Panthers NFC Divisional Playoff game live online from Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina, with streaming video provide by Fox Sports Go at this link, or by downloading the Fox Sports Go app to watch on tablet computers. NFL games on Fox Sports Go are not available to watch on smartphones, due to contractual agreements. Fox Sports Go also streams live on the Amazon Fire TV device, allowing fans to watch the Seahawks vs. Panthers playoff game live online on their TV sets.
[Featured Photo By Otto Greule Jr./Getty Images]