Here we go, the Wildcard games are all behind us and it is on to the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs. Teams like the Carolina Panthers and Arizona Cardinals have earned their right to rest last week in preparation for home games against the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers respectively.
What will come next? Will the week of rest help the Panthers or will the week off show in a bit of rust at kickoff? How will the Seahawks offense respond in weather expected to be more than 50 degrees warmer than what they faced last week in Minnesota? Let’s not waste any more time and let’s get right to the 2015-2016 NFL NFC Divisional Round Predictions, Picks Seahawks vs Panthers
Seattle Seahawks over Carolina Panthers
This match-up is going to be much closer than the records might dictate. If you look back to October you find a game that came down to the wire and it took a Cam Newton pass with less than a minute left to Greg Olsen to take the win 27-24 in Seattle. Of course, Kam Chancellor was not exactly in the lineup lighting up the middle of routes and covering the middle of the field.
Now this game is a matchup where we want to focus on defense but the reality is this match-up could very well be between Cam Newton and Russell Wilson. Cam Newton will win the NFL MVP award this year after a season that saw a career high in touchdown passes with 35 and adding in 636 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground. Meanwhile Wilson set career marks with over 4,000 yards passing and 34 touchdowns. Make no mistake about it, this Seahawks team will chuck it and are the team you came to expect in recent memory.
The return of Marshawn Lynch is still in debate and if he does goes it will be his first actions since week 10. Even when he was on the field this year, he was not setting the world on fire. Meanwhile, in Carolina you have a team that will be welcoming back Jonathan Stewart with open arms.
Both of these defenses are very good at their best and can be exposed at their worst. The match-up of each quarterback with the opposing secondary will most likely decide this game. Seattle looked out of sorts last week but negative six degree can do that to anyone. Call me unconventional but I will forgo the one loss team and back the road team, in Seattle, that is looking to head to the Super Bowl for three straight years.