2016 NFL Playoff Odds - NFC Divisional - Seahawks vs. Panthers Betting Odds Preview
In what is arguably the most anticipated and dynamic matchup of the playoffs so far the Seattle Seahawks will head into Carolina to take on the Panthers. In Cam Newton and Russell Wilson both teams have quarterbacks who played at an MVP level throughout the season. In the case of Wilson he saved his best play of the season for the stretch run while Newton was consistently amongst the best in the NFL all season long. Newton will now have to go through the two time defending NFC champions to advance to the NFC conference championship game.
Newton has had an MVP season after losing his best and only wide receiver with which he had any prior experience with in Kelvin Benjamin early in the pre season. After the loss it appeared that the Panthers may be in for a long season, however they were able to make the offense productive thanks in large part to the intangibles Newton brings to the quarterback position. He consistently made the right play all season long whether it was throwing the deep pass or checking it down to a running back. As always he remains one of the most lethal dual threats out of the backfield and while there weren’t as many designed runs for him called all season long don’t be surprised to see the team use him as a runner more often in the playoffs, especially against the Seattle defense which has been dominant stopping a rushing attack. Ted Ginn has stepped up as the leader of the receiving core and had the finest year of his career after bouncing around to several teams. Tight End Greg Olsen remains Newton’s top target and he will likely be the focus of the Seattle defense. Running back Johnathan Stewart had the finest season of his career and compliments Newton perfectly. The team’s defense was amongst the league leaders in all statistical categories and will have a tough test vs. an Rodgers led offense.
Seattle had to go into Minnesota and lay outside in sub zero temperatures during their Wild Card Round win. The offense sputtered for the entire game until the fourth quarter when Wilson found Doug Baldwin for a touchdown. A field goal soon thereafter gave the Seahawks a 10-9 lead late in the fourth quarter that they appeared to be ready to blow when Minnesota kicker Blair Walsh lined up for a potential game winning field goal form 27 yards, however he missed the “chip shot” field goal and Seattle miraculously pulled out the win. The weather will be a non-factor this week and will allow the Seattle to get a chance at redemption against a dominant Cardinals defense. In order to make life easier for Wilson, Seattle will need to find its running game. The team will likely be without running back Marshawn Lynch who ruled himself out of the last game despite the fact that he is healthy. At press time he had not been ruled out as a participant but it looks as if they will have to make it happen without him. Christine Michael, who had 20 carries for 72 yards, will likely get the majority of carries.
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