Here are my predictions for the second round of the playoffs.
SEATTLE (6) VS CAROLINA (1)
This game could come down to the wire. In their regular season meeting, the Panthers stormed back late and shocked the Seahawks — who at the time was in a mid-season funk. The two teams are playing real well right now and could possibly produce an instant classic.
Russell Wilson has played like a second-half MVP and the passing game, especially with Doug Baldwin has looked fantastic. This is a Seahawks team without Jimmy Graham and with Marshawn Lynch banged up. Yet the offense is playing well enough while the defense remains strong.
That will be a challenge as Cam Newton is such a dangerous quarterback and has made his “lack of quality receivers” into dangerous threats. Devin Funchess and Ted Ginn will be key in helping spread the field as Greg Olsen remains as the focal point of the passing game. Look out for Jonathan Stewart to be the tone-setter.