The Carolina Panthers (15-1) has lost only once since its season ending defeat to the Seattle Seahawks (11-6) last year. The Seattle Seahawks stumbled early and sneaked into the playoffs as the No. 6 seed. Seattle reached the divisional round because of a missed field goal by Minnesota Vikings kicker Blair Walsh in the Wild Card Round. The Panthers have won 11 straight at home and defeated the Seahawks on the road earlier this season. The matchup between the Seattle Seahawks and Carolina Panthers will take place on Sunday, January 17, 2016, at 1:05 p.m. ET at Bank of America Stadium. The game will be televised on FOX.
The Carolina Panthers received the hardest playoff draw possible for a 15-1 team that has home field advantage against the Seahawks. The two teams met at Seattle’s CenturyLink Field earlier this season, a contest that Carolina won, 27-23. They are 8-0 at home this season with an average margin of victory by a score of 33-17. Quarterback Cam Newton has a passer rating of 104.6 at home compared to 94.5 on the road with five more touchdown passes on his home turf than on the road. Securing home field is why coach Ron Rivera played his starters into the fourth quarter of the regular season finale.
The Seattle Seahawks and Carolina have struck up quite a rivalry in recent years, with the Seahawks knocking the Panthers out of the playoffs last season. This will be the seventh time since 2010 that the Panthers and Seahawks have played, with the Panthers victory in Seattle in October breaking a five-game Seahawks winning streak. During last weeks Wild Card game the Seahawks defense was stifling in Minnesota. They also caught a break when the potential game-winning 27 yard field goal went wide left. Seattle has to make another long trip for this one but come playoff time good teams overcome those minor obstacles. The road teams swept the Wild Card round and Seattle is playing good football, particularly on defense. The Seahawks should be putting pressure on Cam Newton this time around and make it more difficult for him.