The Panthers look to get hot at the right time – can they?
Carolina becomes only the fourth team with a losing record to make the playoffs, and the first two don’t even count – the Browns and the Lions both made it at 4-5 in the strike-shortened 1982-83 season. Of course, the Panthers are hoping to capture the same magic as the last team to accomplish that, the 2010-11 Seattle Seahawks. That 7-9 Seahawks team won at home against a superior Saints team.
If Carolina hopes to move on to the next round, they will have to find a way to beat a playoff caliber team for only the second time this season. They were a dismal 1-4-1 against playoff teams in the regular season. The two advantages they have are a 4-game winning streak to end the regular season, and an opponent starting an unknown at QB. The big disadvantage – the Cardinals still have a playoff caliber defense.
Next: Which Joe Flacco will show up for Baltimore?