#SeavsCar : The Seahawks Next Game. Divisional Round
The Seattle Seahawks come off a mind blowing victory in the bitter freezing cold in which Blair Walsh missed a gimme field goal. The Hawks will take the gift and move on to Carolina, where temps will be a scorching 45 degrees. Here a some preview points for the Divisional round match up against the Panthers.
The Match Up:
- Two of the hottest teams down the stretch will face off in what looks to be a battle for the ages. Both Cam Newton and Russell Wilson have been on fire in the second half of the season, Sunday one will move on to the NFC CHAMPIONSHIP.
- Defensively both teams match up very similar. These are the two best linebacker cores in the NFL. Bobby Wagner and Luke Kuechly lead the respective sides.
- The two best corners this year will both be featured, Josh Norman for Carolina and Richard Sherman for the Seahawks.
- Both teams have good run defenses and both teams pride themselves on running the ball. Marshawn Lynch looks good to go for Sunday( we will wait and see if his progress makes it to Sunday) and Jonathan Stewart is set to return for the Panthers. Christine Michael, regardless of Lynch's return should see significant action, he could pose as a good change of pace for Lynch or be the main stay for Seattle.
- These teams are very evenly matched the last 7 games have all been ridiculously close, Sunday should be no different. Playoff football is always close battle , the Seattle Seahawks know that more than anyone.
Seahawks Keys to the Game:
- Turnovers, the Panthers lead the league in turnover differential 20+. The Seahawks rank the 3rd lowest in turnovers in the league with 16. The hawks need to continue that trend and win the turnover battle.
- Exploit the Panther secondary. The Panthers have one stand out in the secondary, Josh Norman. The rest are mediocre. Look for the Seahawks Wilson to take it to the softer side of the Panthers coverage.
- Russell Wilson needs to rebound from a poor game in weather he'll never face again. If Wilson can expose their secondary, it could lead to a long day on defense for the Panthers. The Panthers have played the run vs the hawks well and Russell maybe stuck in the pocket most of the day.
- The Seahawks secondary needs to contain Greg Olson. Tight ends have been a sore spot for the hawks all year long. In particular Kam Chancellor needs to keep Olson in check, especially toward the end of a close game. It was the key for the Panthers beating the Seahawks at home this year and this game could come down to this simple matchup. It's where the Seahawks are most vulnerable and look for Carolina to exploit it.
- Control the ball. At the end of the game if need be they need to run the clock out, don't give Cam Newton a chance to win the game. He's the lead runner for the MVP for a reason.
- Seahawks 23 Panthers 20
This will be a game you will want to watch. These teams battle till the bitter end and it will be close. It could come down the final play. The Seahawks Pete Carroll has turned every game into a championship opportunity. Sunday will be no different, the Hawks will have experience and grit on their side. The Panthers are a hot team, but it's different in the Playoffs. They will feel it Sunday. #Gohawks
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