Sunday, January 17, 2016
Carolina Panthers Spot Seattle Seahawks 31 points in First Half then Hold on to Win 31-24
The Carolina Panthers outscored the Seattle Seahawks 31-0 in the first half and it looked like this NFC Divisional Playoff game would be a laugher. If you had been watching the Panthers and Seahawks this season, you knew that the game was far from over.
Carolina had blown huge leads a number of times in the regular season and the Seahawks are known for their resiliency and determination. This fan knew that we were in for another barn burner and another classic finish.
There's only been one blowout this playoff season (last week's KC victory over the Texans). Why would this game be any different?
From Blowout to Squeaker
I remember yelling "Keep the pedal to the metal...Don't go into prevent now) at the TV at the start of the second half. I knew that Russell Wilson would come out strong to start the second half.
Wilson did just that and it sure looked like the Panthers went into prevent and conservative mode. In his post-game news conference on CBS, Panthers Head Coach Ron Rivera said just that. The problem is that was not in his game plan.
That's what the Seahawks want their opponents to do.
Ron Rivera will have to ensure that this type of lackluster second half doesn't happen with the Arizona Cardinals next Sunday. The cardinals will burn the Panthers if this happens again.
He'll have to do a better job conveying his message to his coaches and his players.
In the end the Panthers were able to hold on for the victory but Cam sure looked upset with his team;s second half offensive performance.
Cam Frustrated with Second Half Game Plan?
In the fourth quarter Cam Newton looked frustrated with his coaching staff regarding the lackluster and conservative play calling.
Cam Newton was on fire in the first half but was stifled in the second half. Cam is best when he's allowed to do what he does best and that's using his legs, strength and brain to survey the defense and make plays.
At times, Cam is able to will his tame to victory and making great plays and leading his team on breathtaking drives. That's what Newton did in the first half but his coaches never game him a good opportunity to that in the second half.
When made to be conservative, Cam is restricted. To be fair, the Seahawks played much better on defense in the second half.
I still think that Carolina took a deep breath and figured they had enough points to win the game. In the end the Cardinals shouldn't be taking any chances. They have enough experience this season to know what happens when they taker off a half.
Looking Forward to NFC Championship
So what's in store for next weekend's NFC Championship game? I'm looking forward to what looks on paper to be a great game between the NFC's top two teams.
While Arizona squeaked out a victory over the Packers on Saturday night, they showed that they are a championship caliber team.
I think they are more explosive than Carolina and also have a good defense to go with a great offense.
The game will be close and I think this game will be have back and forth action for the entire game.
I think Arizona wins 31-27 in the closing seconds of the fourth quarter. I think Larry Fitzgerald will be involved in the game winning TD.